BT Americas eyes Mexico as possible expansion target

Executives with BT Americas (NYSE: BT) are looking at how they can gain a larger foothold in Mexico by making use of new laws that are focused on encouraging competition and inviting foreign companies to invest in the country's telecom market.

Jennifer Artley, BT's chief operations officer in the Americas, and Jorge Marchena, regional country manager for Mexico and Central America, talked with Federal Telecommunications Institute President Gabriel Contreras and other commissioners Nov. 20, reports Bloomberg, citing a disclosure about Contrera's agenda.

During the meeting, the group talked about the process of obtaining operating permits that would enable them to take advantage of the new regulations, according to the report.

BT's interest in Mexico comes at a pivotal time as the country's dominant service provider América Móvil looks to sell off pieces of its telecom business as a way to reduce the company's market share to below 50 percent so it can avoid regulations that apply only to dominant players.

Deepening its presence in Mexico makes sense for BT, particularly as it looks to broaden its holdings in the greater Latin American market. Over the past three years, the service provider has been aggressively expanding its network in Latin America, increasing the number of its MPLS POPs by about 20 percent and launching Ethernet services in 21 new cities.

In September América Móvil had talked to four potential companies--AT&T (NYSE: T), Softbank, Bell Canada, and China Mobile--with a plan to sell Telmex and Telcel for up to $20 billion. However, AT&T struck a $2.5 billion deal with Iusacell, leaving the race for the América Móvil assets open to other potential suitors like BT.

Mexico is just one regional target BT is eyeing.

Inside its UK home market, the service provider is looking to regain a foothold in the mobile market with preliminary discussions to acquire either Telefonica's O2 or EE, a joint venture between Orange and Deutsche Telekom.

For more:
- Bloomberg has this article

Related articles:
BT confirms talks with 2 mobile network operators including O2
BT says it is not selling its Global Services subsidiary despite shareholders' call to offload it
BT's fiscal Q2 consumer revenues rise 7% amidst declines in wholesale, global services
BT enhances wholesale Ethernet connectivity to three new UK-based data centers