Full-service telco Entel Chile is not interested in acquiring domestic rival Nextel Chile, TeleSemana quotes Entel president Juan Hurtado Vicuna as saying, citing local sources. Speculation that Entel may look to take control of the Chilean arm of NII Holdings was prompted by Entel’s agreement to purchase the US based firm’s Peruvian subsidiary, Nextel del Peru. Rumours were further fuelled by NII’s announcement that it was looking to concentrate on its Mexican and Brazilian operations and might consider divesting other assets.
As noted by TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Entel has sought domestic acquisitions to drive growth – most notably the failed attempt to take over triple-play operator Grupo GTD in January 2012 – but has little to gain from a tie up with Nextel. In Peru, the acquisition, which is still awaiting regulatory approval, grants Entel a toehold in the wireless market and Nextel’s traditional focus on corporate and business users complements Entel’s existing business in the Andean nation, wholesale and corporate fixed line provider Americatel. In the Chilean market however, Entel is already active in the wireless sector claiming 38.0% of the country’s wireless subscribers at end-2012, compared to Nextel Chile’s paltry 0.7%.