Monday, January 26, 2015

AT&T Builds its Network in Mexico with Nextel Acquisition

AT&T plans to acquire Nextel Mexico from NII Holdings for US$1.875 billion, less the outstanding net debt of the business at closing.

The deal includes spectrum licenses, network assets, retail stores and approximately 3 million subscribers. Nextel Mexico’s network covers approximately 76 million people.

The Nextel Mexico assets will be combined with those of Iusacell, which AT&T recently acquired. AT&T said its ambition is to create the first-ever North American Mobile Service area covering over 400 million consumers and businesses in Mexico and the United States.

Regulatory approvals are required as is the consent of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, which is overseeing the restructuring of NII Holdings.

  • Nextel de México is still using an iDEN (Integrated Digital Enhanced Network) over most of its territory. The carrier has launched LTE in Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey.
  • Earlier this month, AT&T completed its previously announced acquisition of  Iusacell, a leading Mexican mobile operator, from Grupo Salinas for US$2.5 billion, inclusive of Iusacell debt.  The deal includes all of Iusacell’s wireless properties, including licenses, network assets, retail stores and approximately 8.6 million subscribers. 
    Iusacell offers wireless service under both the Iusacell and Unefón brand names with a network that today covers about 70 percent of Mexico’s approximately 120 million people. AT&T plans to expand Iusacell’s network to cover millions of additional consumers and businesses in Mexico.

    Iusacell operates a 3G  GSM/UMTS network based on the same technology that AT&T uses in the United States. Iusacell owns between 20 and 25 MHz of 800 MHz spectrum, primarily in the southern half of the country, including Mexico City and Guadalajara, and an average of 39MHz of PCS spectrum nationwide. 

    “The quick approval of this deal is one more example of why Mexico is an attractive place to invest,” said Randall Stephenson, AT&T chairman and CEO. “We look forward to bringing more wireless competition to Mexico along with an improved mobile Internet experience for customers. Expanding and enhancing Iusacell’s mobile network to cover millions of additional consumers and businesses is our top priority."

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