Racking up Mexican telcos

AT&T to buy Nextel Mexico, continuing continental expansion

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AT&T’s plans to tackle the Mexico market aren’t just limited to buying a single mobile operator Iusacell. It announced Monday it is buying Iusacell’s competitor Nextel Mexico for $1.875 billion from NII Holdings and will merge its operations into its growing pan-American network.

[company]AT&T[/company] closed its $2.5B deal for Iusacell earlier this month, making it the third largest mobile carrier in Mexico. Adding Nextel’s 3 million subscribers will give AT&T about 12.2 million customers in Mexico, but it will remain a distant third place to Mexican giant [company]América Móvil[/company].

Nextel Mexico is one of the many companies to carry the Nextel brand throughout North and South America. The most famous version Nextel Communications was acquired by Sprint a decade ago, and its brand was only recently retired. But several other Nextel’s continued operating in different countries under the [company]NII Holdings[/company] umbrella. NII filed for bankruptcy last year, so the AT&T offer has to go through the bankruptcy court. That means it could trigger a potential auction for Nextel Mexico’s assets.

Like the other Nextels, Nextel Mexico runs iDEN Networks, which were once celebrated for their walkie-talkie-like push-to-talk capabilities but fell out of use during the mobile data revolution. Nextel Mexico, however, has since launched a 3G network based on HSPA technology that lines up with AT&T’s technology. It’s also launched LTE in three major cities: Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey.

2 Responses to “AT&T to buy Nextel Mexico, continuing continental expansion”

  1. Adrian Alfaro

    SoftBank needs to up the anti to $2 billion dollars. The 800Mhz SMR IBEZ issue must be solved sooner rather than later.

    AT&T will not allow roaming. They won’t.

    • Humberto Saabedra

      It’s more likely that they’ll reuse the spectrum and decommission the network. NII was hardly operating the iDEN network as it was, with one 10Mhz channel operating in every market for those that still didn’t move over to 3G because they lacked coverage.