• Fighting AM dominance in Colombia; data abuses in Peru.

Telefónica: Elsewhere in Hispanomérica

Telefónica: Elsewhere in Hispanomérica

Source: Carli Jeen / Unsplash

  • Argentina: the El Ministerio de Producción de la Provincia de Buenos Aires (Ministry of Production for Buenos Aires Province) requested information from Telefónica Argentina relating to its failure to respond to 400 complaints from customers in the city of Florencio Varela in Buenos Aires Province over its provision of a defective fixed‑line service.
  • Colombia: a report commissioned by Telefónica Colombia (Movistar) highlighted that América Móvil-owned Claro’s dominance in the mobile sector was restricting competition in the country. Claro holds a 46.93% share of the mobile market, followed by Movistar’s 24.26% and Tigo’s 17.56%, according to data from the Ministerio de Tecnologías de la Información y las Comunicaciones for December 2019. The research, conducted by the Universidad de los Andes, found that the market share concentration had resulted from the country’s lack of clear rules to ensure effective competition in the sector. The report recommended that the government adopt “public policy measures to promote competition that guarantees the market share of… Claro does not affect the… ICT sector in general”.
  • Movistar was reported to be the only local operator to have reached a national roaming deal with Avantel, which was rebranded to Partners following its majority acquisition by investment fund Novator Partners in July 2020. Chris Bannister, Chief Executive of Partners, said the recently restructured operator had been unable to secure interconnection deals with América Móvil-owned Claro or Tigo, and called on the country’s communications regulator to intervene. It is understood that Partners riled its rivals by using frequency it secured in the country’s 4G spectrum auction during December 2019 (in which Telefónica elected not to participate — Telefónicawatch, #140), now said to have been withdrawn from use pending an investigation by the country’s Agencia Nacional del Espectro (National Spectrum Agency). Novator, which is building up its presence across Latin America, has been named as a potential buyer of a controlling stake in Telefónica Colombia, following heightened speculation about the Group’s exit plans from the country and reports of the Colombian government’s intention to offload its 32.5% stake in the operating business (Telefónicawatch, #139–#141 and #146).
  • Colombia’s data protection authority La Superintendencia de Industria y Comercio (SIC) fined Telefónica Colombia COP 263m (€54,000) for failing to obtain consent from its customers to access their credit histories. The SIC noted that this was the operator’s fourth fine for similar data protection breaches.
  • Costa Rica: Telefónica Costa Rica is reportedly in the process of doubling the capacity of its 4G network, to reach 90% population coverage by the end of 2020. The Group agreed the sale of its assets in Costa Rica to Liberty Latin America in July 2020 (Telefónicawatch, #146 and passim).
  • Peru: Telefónica Peru was fined PEN 953,310 (€226,123) by the Organismo Supervisor de Inversión Privada en Telecomunicaciones (Supervisory Agency for Private Investment in Telecommunications/Osiptel) for providing insufficient information to customers relating to its contractual requirements, such as the operator’s cancellation procedure and contracted broadband speeds. Osiptel turned down two appeals from Telefónica against three fines initially issued in March 2019.