Subtel prepares new rules on handset sales

5 Jan 2016

Telecoms watchdog the Department of Telecommunications (Subsecretaria de Telecomunicaciones, Subtel) is reportedly working on new legislation that will oblige cellular operators to offer devices compatible with all spectrum bands used in the country, Diario Financiero writes. The move was prompted by a complaint from WOM claiming that the practice of cellcos selling devices compatible with only the frequencies that they use poses an obstacle to growth, particularly for smaller providers such as WOM, which is the only cellco to use the AWS (1700/2100) band.

Undersecretary of Telecommunications Pedro Huichalaf noted, however, that the planned new rules go further and will also require operators and handset sellers to provide clear information on a device’s compatibility to users. ‘We have already held meetings with companies and are working on these changes,’ the official noted, adding that the legislation will ensure that ‘all companies that provide services and offer terminals have diversity in terms of spectrum bands…[and will] enable citizens to have clear information about the equipment they buy.’