Bloomberg News

Carlos Slim Brings Telcel Brand to U.S. for Mexico Calls

December 08, 2012

Mexican Billionaire Carlos Slim

Mexican Billionaire Carlos Slim. Photographer: Susana Gonzalez/Bloomber

Billionaire Carlos Slim’s America Movil SAB has brought its Telcel brand, Mexico’s biggest wireless carrier, to the U.S. to offer plans with unlimited calls south of the border.

Telcel America is selling prepaid mobile-phone plans for $60 a month with unlimited voice, text and data nationwide, plus calls to Mexican landlines and mobile phones, according to its website. The carrier offers smartphones from Samsung Electronics Co. and Google Inc.’s Motorola unit, or customers can use their own devices.

America Movil is seeking to capitalize on recognition for its Telcel brand among a growing U.S. demographic with roots in Mexico, where Telcel has 70 percent of wireless subscribers. People of Mexican origin increased 54 percent to 31.8 million in 2010 from 2000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Slim’s company had 21.6 million wireless subscribers in the U.S. at the end of September, out of a total of 256 million across the Western Hemisphere. In the U.S., the company doesn’t own its own network, reselling minutes from AT&T Inc., Verizon Wireless and others. Its wireless brands in the U.S. include TracFone, SafeLink, Net10 and Straight Talk.

The company acquired Simple Mobile Inc., a U.S. wireless reseller, for $118 million in June.

Mexico is America Movil’s largest market, with 69.2 million wireless subscribers. The company doesn’t offer an unlimited package in Mexico like Telcel America’s $60 a month plan, even for contract subscribers.

An America Movil press official had no immediate comment on the new plan.

To contact the reporter on this story: Crayton Harrison in Mexico City at tharrison5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Turner at nturner7@bloomberg.net


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