The Constitutional Court of Guatemala has suspended the implementation of a monthly tax on mobile telephony lines. The court accepted an appeal made by local operators Claro, Tigo and Movistar. The Congress had approved a monthly tax of GTQ 5.00 (US $0.64) for each active mobile line in the country. The measure was initially expected to enter into force on 1 January. The court said that the implementation of this tax will be suspended until a definitive ruling is issued.
Eliminating the tax would certainly serve the interests of the MNOs that filed the appeal, but it would also serve the interest of the Guatemalan mobile market as a whole. The building out of infrastructure is an important need in this developing nation, which has seen far too little investment in the sector for years. Imposing extra costs on mobile operators could stifle such investment, so if the court were to rule in such a way that the tax suspension becomes permanent, the interests of the country’s mobile market would be well served.