The five Brazilian wireless companies owned by America Móvil subsidiary Telecom Americas – ATL, BCP Nordeste, Claro Digital, Tess and Americel – will spend BRL40 million in adopting the shared brand of Claro. Claro will become the country’s second largest wireless operator with 6.7 million customers, second only to the Telefonica/Portugal Telecom joint venture Vivo with 18 million. Claro currently commands an 18% market share, a figure which it is aiming to increase to 33% by 2005.
America Móvil has earmarked USD500 million to invest in the Claro companies before the end of 2004. The existing operations will be expanded with the activation of three PCS licences which it secured in the auctions of November 2002. These will allow the company to improve coverage of the Sao Paulo, Parana, Santa Caterina, Bahia and Sergipe. The company has opted for GSM equipment to cover the newly licensed areas and expects to finish a GSM overlay of its TDMA network before the end of 2003. America Móvil is rumoured to be considering the purchase of cash-strapped Sao Paulo B-band operator BCP; if the purchase goes ahead BCP is also expected to take the Claro brand.