Nextel pays USD32 million for Movicom network

25 Mar 2008

BNamericas, quoting local daily El Cronista, reports that Argentine digital trunking operator Nextel, part of US-based NII Holdings, has paid USD32 million for the network infrastructure and spectrum owned by former trunking operator Movicom. The resources had been inherited by Spain’s Telefonica Moviles when it bought the Latin American assets of BellSouth in January 2005. At the time Movicom was merged with Telefonica’s unit Unifon under the Movistar brand, and the clients were migrated to Movistar’s GSM network.

Unlike mobile spectrum channels, trunking spectrum channels are transferable but may not be sold, according to the report, and the two parties are being careful to not talk about a ‘sale-purchase’ deal but rather a money transfer. The deal was apparently agreed in November 2007, and is awaiting approval by the antitrust agency CNDC and telecoms regulatory body CNC. Movicom’s infrastructure covers Buenos Aires, Cordoba, Rosario and Mendoza.