AT&T (NYSE:T, news, filings) and its Latin American cousin America Movil have signed a strategic accord to expand their relationship. The two have been working together for a long time of course, giving both deeper penetration outside their own footprint without having to do all the work itself and allowing each company to focus on those all important wireless assets.
Under yesterday's memorandum of understanding, the two companies will expand and enhance the coverage of their respective IP networks, with AT&T leveraging America Movil's 15 country footprint, and America Movil gaining better access to the US and the rest of the world. They will also be working together to upgrade their joint VPN services to improve their ability to service multinationals with needs in Latin America.
AT&T's interest in better Latin American depth parallels the efforts of many across the industry who have been maneuvering to gain a piece of the high growth rates seen across the region. Of course, AT&T already has a piece, but the field of competitors has been growing and the bandwidth and connectivity needs of the region's customers have become steadily more sophisticated.
As for America Movil, I have wondered at times why Carlos Slim hasn't taken a bigger swing at the rest of the world after cornering so much of Latin American telecommunications. But since he's growing ties with AT&T like this, I guess he will continue to do it by proxy.
I found it interesting that America Movil says in the release it has 294 million fiber route kilometers, which is a heck of a lot of fiber that I don't have a map for. I've always thought of them as a mobile play only, which by revenue they mainly are, but I'd be interested to see a map of those fiber assets if anyone knows where to find one!
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