Apparently, buying one Mexican wireless carrier is not enough for AT&T. It seems that the American telecoms company is eyeing to buy another one too. As a matter of fact, AT&T announced just recently that it intends to acquire Nextel Mexico, yet another Mexican carrier and competitor to Iusacell, for a $1.875 billion amount. AT&T is working on finalizing the deal with NII Holdings and laying the groundwork so that Nextel Mexico's operations can be merge with AT&T's expanding pan-American network.
Earlier in January of this year, AT&T has completed its acquisition of Iusacell for a sum of $2.5 billion. By doing so, AT&T has put itself in a position to grab the number three spot among the largest wireless carriers in Mexico.
And now with its takeover of Nextel Mexico, AT&T gains the 3 million-strong subscriber base that the Mexican wireless carrier holds. In effect, the American company would have roughly 12.2 million subscribers in Mexico. But despite of that, it will still remain in third place to America Movil, the biggest carrier in Mexico to date.
Still, the acquisition looks like a wise move. Nextel Mexico is one of the many carriers that carry the Nextel brand across North and South America. The most well-known Nextel company was bought by Sprint around ten years ago, but this brand was discontinued recently. However, a few Nextel companies under the big NII Holdings umbrella still have operations in different countries. And because NII Holdings filed for bankruptcy in 2014, AT&T's offer to acquire it has to go through the bankruptcy court. This may mean that Nextel Mexico's assets could be auctioned off.
Nextel Mexico is similar to other Nextel companies in the sense that it utilizes iDEN Networks. These networks were once lauded for their convenient push-to-talk capabilities (think walkie talkies), but as mobile data began to exert its influence in the telecommunications world, the use of iDEN Networks decreased significantly.
But Nextel Mexico has since deployed a 3G network that is based on HSPA technology that works well with AT&T's current set-up. Plus, the Mexican wireless carrier also rolled out LTE in three major cities in Mexico, namely Mexico City, Guadalajara, and Monterrey.
AT&T is clearly showing some aggressiveness in penetrating more of the Mexican market. Just several days after completing its acquisition of Iusacell, the American wireless carrier already started offering unlimited calls to any phone number in Mexico for $5 a month. As soon it finalizes its buyout of Nextel Mexico, one can bet that AT&T will have some more new schemes to introduce in the next few weeks or months.
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