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Latin Wireless: First Quarter Growth

The economic slowdown has not stopped Latin America’s wireless sector from seeing another increase in the first quarter.



Latin America may be slowing down, but the region remains a strong market for the wireless sector. During the first quarter, the top four pan-regional wireless operators boosted their subscribers by 9.7 percent to 325.3 million, according to a Latin Business Chronicle analysis of data from Mexico-based America Movil, Spain-based Telefonica, U.S.-based NII Holdings and Luxemburg-based Millicom. Jamaica-based Digicel Group, which also operates wireless businesses in 26 markets in Latin America and the Caribbean, does not release quarterly numbers.


America Movil, the top wireless operator in Latin America, does not provide figures for total wireless revenues in the region, but according to calculations by Latin Business Chronicle they reached $6.2 billion in the first quarter. EBITDA reached $2.6 billion.

A comparison with 2007 data in dollars is difficult since the exchange rate changed significantly, but in Mexican peso terms the company saw an increase compared to the first quarter last year. Including its US operations (which we excluded from the above number), America Movil saw a 15.4 percent increase in first quarter revenues and a 12.9 percent expansion in EBITDA.



Telefonica boosted its Latin America wireless revenues by 12.2 percent to 3.2 billion euros (US$4.2 billion), while its operating income before depreciation and amortization (OIBDA) grew by 38.4 percent to 1.2 billion euro ($1.6 billion), according to calculations by Latin Business Chronicle based on company data for nine individual markets and Central America.


NII Holdings did not fare that well. It saw a...


Keywords: America Movil, Brazil, Central America, Mexico, Millicom, NII Holdings, Telefonica, Venezuela, Vivo



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