Mexican multiple service operator (MSO) Cablevisión has struck an agreement with local telco Bestel to launch joint venture telephony services in February 2007, according to BNamericas quoting financial daily El Economista. Cablevisión has long planned to launch telephony services via its own cable network, but appears to have tired of waiting for the full implementation of the government’s so-called ‘convergence bill’ which will regulate such services. Bestphone, a unit of Bestel has an extensive fibre-optic network covering 30 cities. Under the terms of the agreement Cablevisión provides users with internet and CATV services, whilst Bestphone handles telephony. Bestel already provides joint venture services under a similar agreement with another cable operator, Megacable.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, by June 2006 Cablevisión’s 10,900km network (1,700km of fibre-optic and 9,200km of coaxial cable) passed more than 1.5 million homes, 72% of which were two-way enabled. At that date it had 458,000 CATV customers in Mexico City and its Metropolitan Areas, 380,000 of which were digital, up from 355,000 (including 63,000 digital) year earlier. It expects to have finished digitalising its cable network by the end of 2006.