Venezuelan regulator forces Movistar to back down over rates

21 Mar 2016

Venezuela’s telecoms regulator Conatel has ordered cellular operator Movistar Venezuela (owned by Spain’s Telefonica) to suspend its planned rate increases for long-distance calls and international roaming, at least until the watchdog has completed relevant technical studies, TeleSemana reports. Conatel clarified that a rate increase would not be allowed unless it was the result of a reasoned decision based on ‘technical, economic and social’ factors. A shortage of foreign currency in Venezuela has jeopardised telecoms services, as mobile operators have been forced to cut down their international call services due to the inability to pay arrears of royalties to foreign telco partners. In August last year it was reported that these circumstance had forced Movistar to slash its portfolio of international voice destinations down to ten.