Venezuelan telco CANTV has announced that it will invest USD250 million in its mobile unit Movilnet to roll out a GSM network. It expects to sign new infrastructure deployment contracts by March, it said in a statement late last week, adding that GSM services will be offered in parallel with Movilnet’s existing CDMA portfolio. The company aims to target the higher income segments with the new network and hopes to sign up 600,000 users by the end of 2008. CANTV has included the GSM project in its projected CAPEX for 2007 of around USD860 million, and it forecasts 16%-18% growth in mobile subscribers to around 9.3 million by the end of the year. Movilnet’s rival Movistar Venezuela has already begun augmenting its CDMA services with the rollout of a GSM-850MHz network, whilst the pair also face competition from nationwide GSM-900 operator Digitel, backed by domestic media and telecoms tycoon Oswaldo Cisneros.
CANTV also announced that it aims to expand its broadband internet customer base by between 88% and 104% this year, up to a projected total of 923,000 ADSL subscribers.