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AT&T Makes More Moves in Mexico

AT&T is making good on its promise to make Mexico a priority since closing its Iusacell acquisition and announcing plans to buy Nextel Mexico as well this year. Integrating both carriers is its big task for 2015 and beyond, but -- in the meantime -- it's making it easier to call the country for both its postpaid and prepaid customers.

AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) announced Tuesday that its prepaid GoPhone customers on $60 data plans will now also get free calling to Mexico, starting on Friday. At the same time, it upped the amount of data for its prepaid GoPhone customers -- those on $45 1GB plans will automatically get 1.5GB of monthly data and those on the $60 2.5GB plans will get 4GB of data.

These updates comes on the heels of AT&T announcing its World Connect Value plan, offering unlimited calls to Mexico for postpaid customers as a $5 add-on, and adding free calls to Mexico for those Cricket customers on data plans of $50 or more. (See AT&T Dials Up Unlimited Calling to Mexico and AT&T Introduces AT&T Passport.)


Read more about mobile network strategies on the 4G LTE channel here on Light Reading.

AT&T closed its acquisition of Iusacell in the middle of last month and announced its intent to acquire Nextel Mexico at the end of the month. Its goal with the two is to create what it's calling the first ever North American Mobile Service area, reaching more than 400 million potential customers. (See AT&T Names Iusacell CEO, Closes Acquisition, AT&T to Buy Nextel Mexico for $1.9B, AT&T's Mexican Capex Dance and AT&T to Buy Iusacell, Plans Lower Capex For 2015.)

That will involve integrating disparate network technologies -- Iusacell is 3G HSPA+ and Nextel Mexico runs an iDEN network -- which it says will be a top priority for several years. It also means increasingly treating Mexico the same as its traditional US footprint with announcements like today's that make it free to call customers there. AT&T says Mexico is the most frequently dialed country by its wireless customers.

— Sarah Thomas, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, Editorial Operations Director, Light Reading

sarahthomas1011 2/18/2015 | 11:30:07 AM
Re: Oops! I definitely agree that it will be challenging for AT&T if it plans a full network integration. Sprint can certainly offer it some advice.

But, Nextel Mexico itself is not in bankruptcy. It's parent company NII Holdings' US properties are, but its operating subsidiaries in Brazil, Mexico and Argentina are not part of the U.S. bankruptcy proceedings.
Headcoach 2/17/2015 | 4:41:32 PM
Oops! Sprint bought Nextel USA several years ago and it cost them dearly.  Were talking pps from $25 to $2.32.  Finally they shut down that network and their going to use it for something else...hopefully.

But AT&T just bought Nextel Mexico, a company that was in bankruptcy.  Hum, why was it in bankruptcy?  Why do most companies go in Bankruptcy?  If Sprint could not make the Nextel network work, how is it that AT&T will make it work in Mexico.

IMHO: I say it's a bad move that will cost them dearly...just like it did Sprint.  Good luck with that AT&T
sarahthomas1011 2/17/2015 | 1:10:51 PM
calling South of the border It's nice to see AT&T making these moves so soon after announcing both acquisitions. It's not quite to unlimited, free calls for all its customers, but it's getting a lot more affordable. For comparison, Verizon charges a per-call fee, and T-Mobile offers $10 unlmited calls to landlines there or $15 for landlines and mobiles.
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