The only countries in America where mobile phone prices are still regulated are El Salvador and Costa Rica. It is no coincidence that these countries are among the last in the rankings for speed of mobile internet services.
Transparency in governance and better use of productive resources in an economy are not achieved by appealing to good personal intentions, but by observing basic principles of management.
The government's candidate for the office of Controller General of Public Services sees "no inconsistency" in serving in this position, while at the same time being on sabbatical leave from a company which is a provider of those services.
The Superior Council of Private Enterprise has presented to the Nicaraguan Institute of Telecommunications and Postal Services a request for judicial review of "Administrative Agreement 003-2015, Regulations for the payment of duties and taxes."
Six years after the market opened, authorities are assessing whether competition is effective in order to eliminate caps and free up rates for mobile telephony and the internet.
The methodology for determining whether or not there is effective or genuine competition in the telecommunications market has already been approved and the Telecommunications Regulator expects to have the results no later than the end of the year. If it is determined that competitive conditions exist, there could be an elimination of the requirements such as capped tariffs for services and other service fees, which are currently limited to the operators.
In Congress doubts are being voiced over the effectiveness of the application of a tax of $0.65 per phone line and $13 for call centers.
Among the nine challenges presented by deputies to the proposal to place a tax on phones, the lack of definition of the use of funds and details about who should pay the tax stand out the most, in particular whether it should be the user or the business who pays.
The application of tax of $0.65 per mobile phone line that had been proposed by the Executive to fund part of the 2015 budget has been temporarily suspended.
The Constitutional Court temporarily suspended the collection of the tax on telephone lines after the Chamber of Industry and the three phone companies operating in the country submitted an appeal against the tax.
In response to approval of a new tax of $0.65 per telephone line, operating companies have returned 6 million lines to the Telecommunications Superintendency.
Representatives from Claro, Tigo and Telefónica each returned 2 million inactive numbers with the aim of adjusting their internal policies to adapt to the new tax which will come into effect next year. The chief of the Tax Collection Authority, Omar Franco, assured Elperiodico.com.gt that "... Companies will have to make the necessary adjustments in order to estimate how much income will be as a result of the new tax. We did not know that this tax would end up being approved in the 2015 Budget. Congress considered and approved a levy based on the 23 million lines assigned, now that this figure has been reduced it will have to be re-estimated. "
Operators of the telecommunications market in Costa Rica are calling for intervention by the regulator in rates to be removed and for operations to be carried out within a framework of real commercial freedom.
After more than six years of having promoted laws which opened up the telecommunications market in Costa Rica, no operator has the ability to unilaterally set final prices or manipulate conditions in the telecommunications market.
The industry is calling for effective competition to be allowed with the market setting rates and not the Telecommunications Regulator.
Operators of telephony and internet services are asking for the establishment of maximum rates by the Superintendencia de Telecomunicaciones (Sutel) to be eliminated, applying what is contemplated in the Telecommunications Act, which allows the possibility of not intervening in the setting of rates. The companies point out that "... the market prices are up to six times lower than the maximum rate established by the Sutel."