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Mexico enforces mobile registration to cut crime

Mon 12 Apr, 2010 // Firstnumber Team

New regulations from the Mexican government are set to see all people purchasing or using mobile phone required to register their personal details.

The law hopes to fight crime by forcing people to register their identities and this week could see tens of millions of mobile phones disconnected if owners have failed to meet the registration deadline.

Reuters reports that individuals have been encouraged to text their details through radio and TV adverts for several weeks, but that 30 millions lines remained unregistered last Thursday, despite the Saturday deadline.

The law was first past a year go, as a means of cutting down the number of crimes aided by mobile phones, including kidnapping and extortions. However, America Movil – Mexico’s largest wireless operator, has been urging senators to extend the deadlines.

According to Reuters, Guillermo Ferrer, the company’s head of institutional relations, said: "Close to 30 million people will be affected ... many of whom depend on mobile phones as their only means of communication."

Spain's Telefonica hold the greatest share of Mexico’s mobile market, about 60 per cent of its 17 million users in Mexico have submitted their information as requested by the government.

The company released a statement indicating that it planned to maintain voice, short text message and data services to those affected, in spite of the new law. It elaborated: "Telecommunications are of public interest, protected by the constitution ... and they can not be denied to the population."

The majority of the 84 million active mobile phones in Mexico are prepaid models that can be easily topped up at local stores.

If you’re hoping to make cheap international calls to Mexico, then FirstNumber could help. We have access codes for more than 250 destinations and prices as low as 1p per minute.

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