Another fine mess

16 Mar 2005

Ecuador’s telecoms regulator Conatel has revealed that it is hoping to increase the maximum fine which can be levied on mobile operators from the current level of just USD200. Conatel president, Freddy Rodriguez, told BNamericas that he would like to see the maximum penalty raised to USD500,000 but the licence terms of two of the country’s three cellcos do not allow this. He described the current USD200 cap as “laughable” but added: “The only way we can adjust the limit is through reform of their concession contracts.” The limit applies only to the two incumbent operators, Conecel and Otecel (formerly BellSouth); the newest licensee, Telecsa, which trades under the name Alegro PCS, is liable to a maximum fine of USD2 million under its concession. Conatel is hoping to alter the licences of all three companies so that the same maximum fine applies.