Telcel obtains court order against mobile customer suspension

14 Apr 2010

Mexico’s largest mobile network operator by subscribers, Telcel, has announced that it has been granted a provisional court order exempting it from suspending those customers that have yet to register their details with the National Registry of Mobile Phone Users (Renaut). According to Dow Jones Newswires Telcel, a subsidiary of Latin American mobile giant America Movil, said in a statement that the ruling by a federal judge effectively meant that it ‘won’t have to suspend service to any of its clients’, although the cellco has encouraged its subscriber base to register their details as soon as possible. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, at end-December 2009 Telcel had just over 59 million subscribers, giving it a market share of 71.2%.

As previously reported by CommsUpdate, new legislation was introduced in April 2009 requiring all mobile users to register their details with a view to limiting the use of mobile voice connections in criminal activities. Mobile operators were given one year to ensure their customer bases were fully registered, but despite calls for an extension to the 10 April 2010 deadline earlier this month, the Senate rejected calls for the delay. For its part Telcel has argued that, having registered approximately 100,000 customers per day since the registry was opened last year, the one-year timeframe was insufficient to complete the process considering the size of its user base.

While the deadline to register has officially passed, with around 30% of the country’s mobile lines still unregistered at the time of expiry, it is understood that the government is still processing a significant number of registrations. The Comision Federal de Telecomunicaciones (Cofetel) has stated that it expects to complete the registration of the nearly eleven million registrations received in the last few days prior to the deadline by the end of 14 April.