Mexican cable group calls for restrictions on Telmex

Mexico's cable television industry asked the government to place restrictions on Telmex, the country's largest fixed-line phone company, before allowing it to offer television service, an Associated Press report said.

The Associated Press report quoted the National Cable Industry Chamber, or CANITEC, as saying in full-page advertisements published in local newspapers that Telmex, owned by billionaire Carlos Slim, is in negotiations to change the terms of its concession to be able to offer video as well as phone and internet services.

The three combined are known as 'triple play' services.

CANITEC said it was concerned Telmex could use its market power to become a dominant force in the pay-TV market, and called on the government to declare Telmex and Slim's mobile company Telcel 'dominant,' which would allow for stricter regulation of the two, the Associated Press report said.

Telmex 'has to be subject to regulations that promote balance and sustainable competition,' the ad said.

Several cable companies, which already had broadband internet and TV service, began offering phone service last year, the report said.

Under conditions placed on Telmex at that time, the phone company may not offer video until it puts in place interconnection services and number portability that would allow Telmex customers to keep their same numbers if they switch to a different phone service provider.

Telmex executives have said they expect to start offering triple play this year, the report further said.