Colombia
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Asymmetrical regulations have "some impact" on AMX in Colombia - exec

Bnamericas Published: Monday, October 28, 2013

Asymmetrical interconnection rates imposed on América Móvil (NYSE: AMX) in Colombia by telecoms regulator CRC are having "some impact" on the operator's margins in the country, América Móvil's CEO Daniel Hajj said in a conference call with investors.

The company's local unit Claro Colombia is the dominant mobile operator in Colombia, with a 58.8% share of the market as of the end of Q2, according to ICT ministry Mintic's statistics.

CRC imposed the asymmetric interconnection rates on Claro in January of this year, as well as a second measure prohibiting the telco from charging differential on-net and off-net rates in an aim to reduce the so-called "club effect" which the operator has been able to establish.

América Móvil continued to see revenue growth in Colombia, with Q3 revenues up 8.9%, but its Ebitda margins were squeezed, falling to 44.4% in the quarter compared to 46.4% in 3Q12.

Meanwhile, Claro Colombia saw its mobile subscriber base fall by 5.3% in Q3, as gains in postpaid subscribers were not enough to offset losses in its prepaid subscriber base.

Mobile data use is growing strongly in Colombia, and Claro is selling "more and more smartphones" in the country, Hajj said.

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