Mexico AT&T Investment Plans Telecom IndustryThe U.S. telecom company AT&T plans significant investments in Mexico to expand and upgrade its mobile network in order to grow market share and become an industry leader, AT&T Mexico’s Chief Executive Thaddeus Arroyo said publicly this week.

AT&T first entered the Mexican market by buying the operations of smaller companies Iusacell and Nextel Mexico. Iusacell was acquired for $2.5 billion, including debt, adding 9.2 million subscribers. Nextel Mexico was bought for $1.88 billion from the bankrupt NII Holdings, formerly Nextel Communications international arm.

Combined, these assets provided AT&T with an instant customer base and one of, if not the best, spectrum positions in Mexico.

“Right now we’re totally focused on integrating the assets we just bought,” Mr. Arroyo said in a meeting with reporters. “Our long-term goal is to be a leader in the market.”

The Dallas-based company’s decision to enter Mexico follows changes in local telecommunications laws that are aimed to encourage more competition in the industry.

Mexico’s Economy Ministry said that the Iusacell purchase contributed $2.04 billion to the $7.57 billion Mexico received in first-quarter foreign direct investment.