[business week] Mexico’s government is allowing America Movil SAB, Telefonica SA and other mobile-phone carriers time to process millions of users who registered for a national government database so they won’t lose service.
The users complied with the law by signing up for the registry and shouldn’t have their lines disconnected, Raul Marin, spokesman for the Federal Telecommunications Commission, said today. Wireless customers were required to add their names to the registry by April 10.
Some carriers may need until April 14 to work through lists of users who registered on time, Marin said. The decision helps America Movil and Telefonica avoid losing some of the 25 million users who were missing from the database, aimed at tracking crime, as of yesterday.
About 70 percent of Mexico’s 83 million mobile-phone customers are registered, the government said. The telecommunications agency will ask carriers today to submit plans for how they’ll begin to disconnect lines, and the process will be “gradual,” Marin said.
America Movil, which has 71 percent of the nation’s wireless users, said last week it would comply with the law and disconnect unregistered users. Telefonica, with 21 percent of the market, announced April 10 that it would obey Mexican law, after previously saying it would fight to keep unregistered users.
The registry is designed to prevent criminals from using mobile phones in extortion and kidnapping schemes, allowing law enforcement to use the database to track calls. Mexico City- based America Movil and Madrid-based Telefonica said they will reconnect users after they register.
America Movil rose 5 centavos to 31.24 pesos at 4 p.m. New York time in Mexico City trading. Telefonica rose 0.5 percent to 18.02 euros in Madrid.
Mexico Mobile Carriers Get More Time to Confirm Users