Paraguay’s smallest cellco CTI Móvil has contracted Tecnomen to supply and install a pre-paid system for its GSM network. Delivery of the system began last month. Formerly known as Hutchison Telecommunications Paraguay (HTP), the cellco was taken over by Mexican-based mobile group América Móvil last year. América Móvil completed the purchase of HTP from Hutchison Telecommunications International Limited (HTIL) in July. Whilst the value of the deal was not disclosed, it was not thought to exceed USD20 million.
The operator, which previously operated under the brand name Port-Hable, 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. Since then the operator has expanded its services and reach, but remains well behind rivals Hola Paraguay, Núcleo and Telecel with around a 5% market share. América Móvil, however, is confident that its leadership can turn the newly christened CTI Móvil into a genuine contender in Paraguay’s wireless market. The Mexican group has announced plans to invest USD64.5 million in CTI Móvil in the coming year as part of a USD120 million spending programme.