AT&T, the second-largest US mobile-phone carrier, is set to buy NII Holdings’ Mexican wireless assets for $1.875 billion in its third deal to expand south of the US border.
The acquisition includes companies that operate under the name Nextel Mexico, spectrum licences, network assets, retail stores and about 3 million customers. The purchase price doesn’t include an unspecified amount of debt from NII, which filed for bankruptcy in September.
Nextel Mexico’s high-paying monthly subscribers will help AT&T accelerate a plan to offer its first cross-border service in the US and Mexico. AT&T’s pending takeover of DirecTV, which has operations in Mexico, marked the company’s first push outside the US in more than a decade as growth slows at home. The company has since added to that expansion with the $2.5 billion acquisition of Grupo Iusacell SA in Mexico, which closed earlier this month.
“The acquisition of Nextel Mexico will support AT&T’s plans to bring greater competition and faster mobile Internet speeds to the Mexican wireless market,” AT&T said in a statement.