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AT&T furthers its Mexican ambitions as Nextel acquisition completes

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As various telecoms mega deals trudge through torturous scrutiny prior to their eventual completion, or sometimes not, AT&T has been quietly expanding its North American empire into Mexico.

AT&T completed the acquisition of Iusacell at the start of this year and has now completed the acquisition of fellow Mexican operator Nextel for a net price of $1.45 billion. The two will now form part of an expanded ‘North American service area’ for AT&T, which possibly hints at further acquisitions in the continent.

Ovum’s WCIS service says Iusacell had 8% of total Mexican mobile subscribers by the end of 2014, while Nextel had 3%. AT&T will combine the two companies, but hasn’t given it a name yet. With 11% of the market AT&T Mexico will still trail Movistar on 21% of subscribers and dominant Telcel, still has a 68% share in spite of regulatory pressure to get that number below 50%.

“Mexico is the second-largest economy in Latin America and has a growing middle class. This economic strength, combined with Mexico’s close geographic, economic and cultural ties to the U.S., make it an attractive place for AT&T to invest,” said AT&T in its announcement.

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