AT&T has announced that Iusacell and Nextel customers with an ‘AT&T United’ plan can now access 4G-LTE services in a total of six Mexican cities. The service is available in Atlacomulco in the State of Mexico, Cuernavaca and Cuautla in Morelos, and Pachuca, Tulancingo and Tepeji del Rio in Hidalgo. C
Customers in the covered areas simply need an LTE-enabled smartphone and SIM card to access the network. In May the operator said it would be in a position to offer solid 4G coverage throughout Mexico by the end of 2016.
AT&T acquired Nextel Mexico and Iusacell for a combined total of USD 4.4 billion earlier this year. It subsequently confirmed plans to create the first-ever North American mobile service area, which will cover more than 400 million customers and businesses in Mexico and the US
Mexican regulator IFT said it will launch a public consultation covering four key aspects of the country’s mobile communications industry, including guidelines for establishing MVNO services. It said it aims to establish rules allowing MVNOs to use a wide range of business models serving diverse parts of the market in order to encourage investment and spur competition.
These will notably seek to impose transparent and non-discriminatory access to the networks of the principal operators. The MVNO consultation, which will invite comments from the industry, academics and the general public, runs from 10-17 July and 03-20 August.
Three further consultations will address proposed rules covering the maximum exposure of the public to radio waves, the future attribution of frequencies and the use of other radio-emitting devices such as remote controls.
The integration of both companies has started to take place after approval by the PRTRB (Telecommunications Regulatory Board of Puerto Rico) last week.
However, Liberty said that the two brands will coexist in the market until this process is complete.
Among the changes to be implemented, Liberty ordered the addition of 18 new channels for plans: Choice Pak and Top Choice.
Telefonica customers in Central America will now be able to access data roaming at no additional cost while traveling across the region under a new service known as ‘Movistar Sin Fronteras’.
The regional data roaming service is available to all prepay and postpay consumer and business users in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Panama, Guatemala, Mexico and Venezuela.
Any excess data consumed outside the user’s country will also be charged at local rates. The company’s move means that customers travelling throughout the region will be able to make calls using their data bundles via OTT apps such as WhatsApp and Viber.
Telefonica’s subsidiary in Ecuador – operating under the Movistar brand – has announced the launch of 4G services in Quito, around three months after it obtained 50MHz of spectrum in the 1,900 MHz band. The operator said customers in selected parts of the capital will be able to access the 4G network at no extra cost via the 22 LTE-enabled devices it currently offers.
Movistar recently announced plans to invest USD 150 million to roll out its 4G network and modernize its existing 3G network infrastructure in Ecuador.
State-run telecoms operator CNT already offers 4G in Ecuador, while rival operator Claro has also recently obtained spectrum for the provision of 4G services.
Mexican telecom watchdog IFT has confirmed it will auction in 2015 spectrum for the provision of LTE services. The regulator plans to award 60 MHz of spectrum in the AWS band (1,700-2,100 MHz). The regulator also confirmed it will award 10 MHz of spectrum in the 440-450 MHz band for the provision of private radio communications services. The IFT will also auction FM radio frequencies in the 88-106 MHz band.
Movistar Guatemala – the Telefonica owned operator – has launched its 4G LTE network offering service through spectrum in the 1,900 MHz band. The LTE service will be initially available in Guatemala city, the country’s department capitals and the main tourist areas.
The telco had invested a total of USD 100 million to launch LTE infrastructure. Movistar Guatemala also said that it will offer 14 LTE-capable phones to its subscribers.