OECD calls for telecommunications overhaul in Colombia

Posted on Apr 9 2014 - 4:18pm by Rico
(Photo: Morley press)

Colombia needs to diversify its mobile phone if it hopes to enter the club of developed nations, according to a recent report from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Colombia is currently trying to enter the OECD.  This latest report from the OECD has been critical of several aspects of the Colombian communications market, in particular ownership and regulation.

For countries within the OECD, the market share of the main mobile phone operator is, on average, 42%, whereas in Colombia, the telecom giant Claro has more than 60% of the market.

The OECD report also expresses concern that the country’s second largest “telco,” Movistar has a 30% stake owned by Colombia’s national government.

Independence in telecommunications needed

The OECD report recommended the Commission for Communications Regulation (CRC) should merge with the National Television Authority (ANTV) to have a real convergence of communications standards.

Semana magazine reported the CRC has a clear dependence upon the ICT Ministry and recommends that the body be separated from political interference and government interests in regulatory decisions and competition.

The CRC currently has five members on its board and two of them are senior government officials

They draw attention to the presence of ICT Minister and the Director of the National Planning Department, as two of the five commissioners of the CRC experts.

But Colombia’s telecommunications industry is changing already. Just two weeks ago, the communications minister of Colombia announced reforms that will allow consumers with permanent contracts to switch phone contracts or handsets.

MORE: Colombia Communications minister announces cellphone contract reforms



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