Telefónica Móviles México has called for the country’s regulators to prioritise the introduction of mobile number portability (MNP) and the expansion of the calling-party-pays (CPP) billing system nationwide, in a bid to make the Mexican mobile market more competitive. In November 2005 the Federal Telecommunications Commission (Cofetel) met with operators to discuss plans to introduce number portability, but has yet to release a timetable for the launch of the service. The cellco’s CEO Miguel Menchén told local daily Reforma that his company has been working on improving its service quality so that it might tempt users away from its larger rival Telecel when MNP is eventually introduced. ‘Since we cannot be the largest operator, we have to be the best in terms of service quality,’ he told the paper.
The introduction of CPP has been protracted. In April 2006 the regulator passed a resolution mandating that domestic long-distance (DLD) calls to mobile phones be subject to CPP rules, giving operators until October 2006 to implement DLD CPP; CPP already applies to local fixed-to-mobile calls. However, last month Mexican telcos Axtel, Avantel and Alestra teamed up to challenge the ruling, saying that the introduction of CPP for local fixed-to-mobile services has resulted in fixed line customers subsidising wireless operators to the tune of USD1 billion annually. They claim it is illegal that cellcos can charge wireline operators more for fixed-to-mobile interconnection than they pay for mobile-to-fixed or mobile-to-mobile calls.