Colombian telecoms watchdog the Communications Regulation Commission (CRC) has issued an order that will prevent cellcos from including minimum contract periods in subscriptions and will enforce the separation of service plans and equipment purchases. The new rules will take effect from 1 July this year and aim to increase competition by making it easier for customers to switch provider. Under the measures cellcos offering subsidised handsets as part of a subscription must provide customers with two separate contracts, one for the provision of services and a second stating the terms for the deferred payment of the device. Contracts with minimum service periods already in place when the order comes into effect will continue, but the service provider must issue monthly invoices to the subscriber detailing the exact start and end clauses of the tie-in period, the penalty for early termination, the sale price of the handset or device where appropriate and the value of any special rate, discount or subsidy.
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