AT&T to acquire Nextel Mexico assets for $1.9 billion

AT&T has agreed to acquire mobile carrier Nextel Mexico for UDS$1.9 billion from parent company NII Holdings, in an effort by AT&T to win a larger slice of the Mexican mobile market, the company announced Monday.

The deal includes all NII’s mobile assets in Mexico, including spectrum licenses, network facilities, retail stores and 3 million customers, AT&T said in a press release.

NII, based in Reston, Virginia, filed for bankruptcy in U.S. court in September. The company also operates mobile networks in Argentina and Brazil.

The deal with AT&T, subject to approval by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York and regulatory approvals in Mexico, is expected to close by mid-2015, NII said in a press release.

The deal will allow AT&T to combine Nextel Mexico with Iusacell, another Mexican mobile provider that AT&T acquired in November for $2.5 billion. Iusacell, with about 9 million customers, was the third largest mobile carrier in Mexico at the time.

Mexico City-based América Móvil’s Telcel is the dominant mobile carrier in Mexico, with a market share of about 70 percent.

Nextel Mexico’s network covers about 76 million people. The acquisition of Nextel Mexico supports AT&T’s plans to offer more competitive services and faster mobile broadband speeds in Mexico, AT&T said.

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