América Móvil announces Puerto Rican investment plan

21 May 2007

Mexican mobile group América Móvil (AM) has relaunched its newly acquired Puerto Rican mobile unit under its regional brand name of Claro, and has announced that it will invest USD53 million in an initial phase of CDMA network expansion and upgrading this year, reports local daily El Vocero, quoted by BNamericas. Claro Puerto Rico (formerly Verizon Wireless PR) and its wireline sister company Puerto Rico Telephone Company (PRT) are wholly owned by Telecomunicaciones de Puerto Rico (Telpri), which AM bought from US telco Verizon Communications for USD939 million in March. One of the conditions set by US telecoms regulator FCC to approve the deal was that AM must invest USD1 billion in the country over the next five years. Claro PR had 564,000 CDMA and TDMA subscribers at the end of March, up by 20,000 from the start of the year, while PRT’s local line subscriber base is in decline – down to 996,000 at the end of the first quarter from 1.022 million at the end of 2006. ‘Our commitment is to offer the best connectivity in all of Puerto Rico. This commitment we renew each year by investing aggressively in our powerful CDMA network, and we reaffirm this today with the announcement to invest a sum of USD53 million,’ the company’s president Cristina Lambert said at the official launch of the Claro brand. Claro is the largest of the island’s six cellcos by subscribers, with 25.8% of the market at the end of 2006, according to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database.

Puerto Rico, Claro Puerto Rico