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Millicom considering entering Mexico

Millicom is considering a launch of its Tigo mobile brand in Mexico as competition improves following new regulation.

With AT&T launching a Mexican unit last year, America Movil’s dominance is weakening slightly, allowing further space for new entrants. Millicom has a strong background in emerging markets, with operations across Africa and an established presence in Latin America that it is now reportedly seeking to bolster.

Millicom has a strong foothold in Paraguay and is increasing its operations in Colombia, having won 4G spectrum licences in both of these markets. It also operates in 6 other Latin American countries; if it added Mexico to this list, it would become the second overseas operator to do so following the regulatory reforms made in 2013.

US operator AT&T moved into Mexico in 2015 with the acquisition of mobile units Iusacell and Nextel Mexico for $4.4 billion. To compete with Telefonica and market leader America Movil, the operator is planning to spend $3 billion on improving its high-speed internet offering. MVNOs have also launched in Mexico following the reforms, including a service from Virgin Mobile.

Mauricio Ramos, CEO of Millicom, has reportedly stated that the company is aiming to become the number two cable provider in Latin America after America Movil. A Mexican launch of its successful Tigo Money service is also likely.

Currently America Movil leads the way in Mexico with 73.5 million subscribers, followed by Telefonica’s 23.9 million. AT&T had around 8.5 million subscribers at the end of Q4 2015.

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