Thousands will be affected by a ruling of the Comisión Nacional de los Mercados y la Competencia (what we would know as the Monopolies Commission) which comes into force on 24 July this year. From that date, all low-cost prefixes used for landline calls will only function if used through the company suppying the landline service. The CNMC argues that having a landline with Movistar, for example, and then using Direct Telecom, say, for cheaper calls, is unfair competition to Movistar.
The ruling was passed on 17 January and is ANME/DTSA/364/15MERCADOS 1 Y 2-REC.2007, and in this instance, the CNMC has not only pronounced on what it considers to be unfair competition but can also enforce its ruling because the national telecom regulator, the Comisión del Mercado de las Telecomunicaciones, is a part of the CNMC after being absorbed into it in 2013.
And so, in a nutshell, anyone who has a low-cost call service with a company other than their landline supplier will no longer be able to use whatever prefix they signed up for. In Tenerife, this is most often Direct Telecom’s 1051 service – by means of manual or automatic prefix – and the company has been emailing clients recently advising them of the forthcoming change. As DT chief Mike Broeckaert explained, no-one actually knows specifically what will happen on 24 July other than the prefix will stop working: there might be a warning message, or maybe not, and if the phone appears to work as normal people will be making calls at Movistar rates while thinking they were still using a low-cost connection.
For those who like to keep in touch with family beyond Tenerife with the prefix system of calls via their landlines – specifically landlines using their telecommunications infrastructure rather than the internet or a mobile provider – the only option will be to transfer their line rental to a supplier offering a low-cost calls service. Those who already use Direct Telecom’s low-cost calls service, for example, and who want to transfer their line rental to the company can just click HERE, or email email@example.com.