AT&T’s recent purchase of Lusacell and their recently announced acquisition of Mexican wireless provider Nextel Mexico’s assets are gaining them some substantial network bandwidth in the country, and they’re poised to gather even more clout in the region after reports state they could be looking to snatch up the assets of yet another carrier, American Movil who are looking to divest some of those assets. While AT&T could end up having to spend upwards of $3-4 billion to deploy LTE coverage in Mexico via their newly acquired networks according to analysts at Macquarie, that seems like a relatively small cost when you think about what AT&T has actually spent to acquire the 2.8 million subscribers, as well as the 20MHz of 800MHz spectrum and 100MHz of nationwide spectrum from Nextel Mexico which was about $1.8 billion.
All of these acquisitions play into AT&T’s plans to create a vast network of coverage that contains nearly 400 million subscribers across the United States and Mexico, something they are referring to as a “North American Service Area,” a first of its kind according to AT&T. According to the source, American Movil is attempting to lower its market share in Mexico below 50% down from 70%, so it’s trying to get rid of some assets which AT&T seems would be more than happy to make an offer on.
While picking up the American Movil assets could be good for AT&T, it could also be more difficult than they realize to achieve as they had sold off their previous American Movil assets last year, about 8.27 percent share as part of the acquisition of DirecTV. Since the DirecTV acquisition is still going through U.S. regulation, any assets that AT&T tries to pick up from American Movil may not be an easy approval for Mexican regulators. In spite of any complications that could arise though, Analysts still think AT&T might make a move for American Movil’s assets as it should fit nicely into their plans for continued expansion within the Mexican region. It would also make sense especially if AT&T would be able to acquire the assets for cheap like they have done with Nextel Mexico.