Last year, Mexican carrier Lusacell made the headlines on a couple of occasions. This was because the carrier was up for sale. Back in September rumors started to circulate that SoftBank was interested in the Mexican carrier and thinking of making the purchase. That said, within a few weeks all speculation ended when back in November AT&T announced that they had agreed to purchase the Mexican network. The deal was reported to be worth $2.5 billion.
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Well, while all the other news was pouring out over the holiday period, it seems AT&T were busy finalizing the paperwork and they have today announced that the deal has finally concluded. The $2.5 billion purchase of Lusacell is done and dusted and includes all of Lusacell’s assets including licenses, stores and not to mention roughly 9 million customers. Of course, that 9 million is only a fraction of the 120 million population of Mexico and this is where it is expected AT&T will look to enhance growth. Lusacell currently operates in over 70% of Mexico, meaning the coverage AT&T will now have of the currently non-Lusacell population will be a prime example of market potential.
Interestingly, another angle which AT&T announced today, which helps to further explain the purchase, is that the carrier intends to build the first ever “North American Mobile Service area”. This is a really interesting concept from AT&T’s perspective, as it will effectively offer a joint US and Mexico network, spanning over 400 million customers. As such, whichever country you are in or when you visit the other, you will still be on your network, charged at your normal rate. If you are someone who frequents Mexico often (or of course in Mexico and frequents the US often) then this might even be a reason for you to swap over to AT&T. The idea of one network across both markets will certainly be a selling point to some. AT&T did not provide any details on when the merging of networks would begin, but no doubt they will advise closer to the time. Are you an AT&T customer? What do you think of their purchase of Lusacell? Let us know.