<strong>By Narayan Ammachchi</strong>
<strong>America Movil is reportedly gearing up to invest a staggering US$50 billion in telecom infrastructure across Latin America, a sign that Carlos Slim has made up his mind to protect his telecom empire in the face of growing competition from AT&T in his home turf.</strong>
According to <a href=”http://eleconomista.com.mx/industrias/2015/05/26/fibra-optica-otra-jugada-carlos-slim-telecom”>the Mexican newspaper <em>El Economista</em></a>, Slim’s firm is about to conclude a five-year plan, which involves investing $50 billion in bolstering telecom assets.
Part of his plan is to roll out a 500,000 km long fiber optic network in Mexico. There are also reports that the company is moving to expand its LTE-4G networks elsewhere in the region.
The news comes barely three weeks after <a href=”https://www.nearshoreamericas.com/att-set-invest-heavily-mexico-outshine-america-movil/”>AT&T hinted</a> that it would invest heavily to bolster its telecom network in Mexico. Analysts say America Movil may be planning to expand Pay-TV service to every nook and cranny of the country before AT&T tries to launch the service.
With 289 million wireless subscribers – and subsidiaries that include Telmex, <a href=”https://www.nearshoreamericas.com/tag/carlos-slim”><strong>Embratel</strong></a> and Claro – <a href=”https://www.nearshoreamericas.com/tag/america-movil”><strong>America Movil</strong></a> is a telecom monopoly in Mexico, where it controls 70% of the mobile business and 80% of the fixed-line market.
According to its financial results for the first quarter of 2015, the company has 22.3 million broadband subscribers across the region. But the same report expresses concern at the decreasing rate of fixed-broadband subscription.
AT&T’s success lies in its ability to build expensive LTE (4G) networks. Today, Carlos Slim’s Telcel is the only provider of 4G services in Mexico. Under Mexico’s telecom reforms, Telcel is obligated to open up its own infrastructure and let other companies connect to its network without any cost.
AT&T has now begun combining Iusacell with Nextel’s network, creating the first-ever North American Mobile Service area, covering over 400 million consumers and businesses in both <a href=”https://www.nearshoreamericas.com/att-acquire-america-movils-asset-mexico/”><strong>Mexico</strong></a> and the United States.