Argentine mobile operator Claro plans to invest an additional USD249 million in its network during 2012, according to a company statement as reported by Dow Jones Newswires. The investment, which is on top of a previously announced USD1 billion investment programme for 2011-12, will enable the company to build 150 more base transceiver stations (BTS) than originally planned, raising the number of cell sites to be built in the rest of the year to 450. Claro, a unit of Mexican mobile giant America Movil, will also spend the funds on increasing the number of its BTS connected by fibre-optic cable to more than 1,400. The company said it has increased the size of its data centre and has finished extending a USD15 million fibre-optic cable, which stretches 510km and links the island of Tierra del Fuego to nearby communities in Argentina and Chile. Claro is Argentina’s largest mobile operator by subscribers, according to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, with over 19 million subscribers at the end of March 2012, followed by Telecom Personal (the mobile unit of Telecom Argentina) with 18.5 million, Spanish-owned Movistar with 16.5 million and Nextel Argentina, a subsidiary of NII Holdings, with 1.4 million customers.