Mexican-based mobile group América Móvil (AM) says it will invest USD64.5 million in its newly acquired Paraguayan cellco Port-Hable over the next twelve months. The money will be used to expand coverage nationwide and develop next generation services, including messaging, internet and digital imaging. The cellco stands well behind rivals Hola Paraguay, Núcleo and Telecel with just 5% of the market. AM, however, is confident that its leadership can turn Port-Hable into a genuine contender.
AM completed the purchase of Port-Hable from Hutchison Telecommunications International Limited (HTIL) last week. Whilst the value of the deal has not been disclosed, it is not thought to exceed USD20 million. The cellco has a chequered history. Despite being awarded an A-band PCS licence in early 1995, it did not launch a commercial service until January 2000 and was forced to close its network later that year after experiencing numerous capacity problems. It was finally re-launched with an expanded network and increased subscriber capacity in March 2001.