Mexican telecom group America Movil, the telecoms giant controlled by the family of billionaire Carlos Slim, expects to launch 5G technology in certain Latin American markets by the end of the year, the company’s CEO Daniel Hajj said during a conference call with investors.
“In Mexico, I think we’re going to launch [5G] by the end of this year. In Brazil, we still don’t know, because there’s going to be the spectrum auctions,” he said.
Hajj said that the company is currently working on the virtualization of the network and to prepare the network infrastructure to launch 5G in Brazil once the firm secures spectrum.
The executive also highlighted that the initial 5G launch in the Brazilian market will not be large.
“We’ve got 4.5G in Mexico and in Brazil, and it’s working very good. We have very good speeds. So we are okay with that,” Hajj said.
The company expects capital expenditures of $8.5 billion for the year, on par with last year’s, Hajj said. The investment will be focused on deploying fiber in Mexico, Colombia, Brazil and other markets, Hajj said.
America Movil ended Q4 with 278 million wireless subscribers, with 1.9 million postpaid additions during the quarter. The telco recorded 1.2 million of new postpaid subscribers in Brazil.
Net profit increased 63.4% year-on-year to MXN21.2 billion ($1.14 billion) ,though revenue of MXN263 billion was flat due to the appreciation of the Mexican peso against all other currencies in markets where the company operates.
America Movil, which operates in Mexico and in most of the countries in Latin America, recently launched 5G technology in Austria, where it controls local operator Telekom Austria.
Telekom Austria’s subsidiary A1 commercially launched 5G services earlier this month. A1’s 5G network will cover 350 locations across 129 municipalities in Austria.
The company claims its “A1 5Giganetwork” will be the largest 5G network in Austria, spanning 54,000 square kilometers.
A1 acquired 5G spectrum in the 3.5 GHz band in March 2019.