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How the new telecoms laws will affect you and your wallet

While the new telecommunications laws are having a major impact on people such as Carlos Slim and companies such as Slim’s América Móvil, it’s not quite clear what they mean to the average person. CNN Expansion has answered that question with a list of things that will benefit individual users and have a positive effect on their wallets.

• The portability of your cell number: Within 60 working days of the laws’ taking effect, the Federal Telecommunications Institute will establish the rules that eliminate requirements that impede the process of changing one’s service provider, and taking your phone number with you.

It can take 10 days at present; it is to take no more than 24 hours in future and all you’ll need is your official identification. You’ll no longer need to take along the invoice for your refrigerator or details of your life history, joked Gerardo Osoria, president of IDET, a telecommunications thinktank.

• Effective January 1 of next year, you will no longer pay any additional cost for domestic long-distance phone service, which should amount to a savings to users of 22 million pesos a year, says Osoria. There is no longer any justification for them, he explained.

• Roaming fees are no longer charged by América Móvil, or Telcel, due to its dominance in the market (a change that took effect in April). Other companies will be allowed to, but Osoria thinks they won’t in order to be competitive.

• The law will require providers to offer plans that include charges by the second, rather than just by the minute.

• Your airtime will no longer expire within two or three months if you don’t use it. When the law is official, your credit will last for at least one year. Also, providers will not be allowed to charge for calls to check your airtime.

• You will be allowed to cancel a contract within 60 days without penalty if the provider of your phone service modifies the original conditions.

• People with disabilities — mobile, visual, or auditory — will be able to get the equipment necessary for phone service, although this may come with a charge.

• There will be a mechanism for users to make complaints against providers if the service doesn’t meet standards.

The new legislation has now been approved by Congress and awaits its promulgation and official publication.

Source: CNN Expansion

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