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Telmex earmarks US$160mn for western region

Bnamericas Published: Thursday, December 16, 2004
Mexico's largest telco Telmex (NYSE: TMX) plans to spend US$160mn in 2005 in the country's western region, Telmex regional director Francisco Ortega said in a conference reported by local paper El Economista. The money will be spent on developing value-added services. Telmex also is preparing for cable infrastructure, a business segment the company expects to enter as soon as it can obtain the proper permits, according to Ortega. Mexican regulators currently prohibit Telmex from providing cable television services. Telmex plans to spend some US$80mn in Jalisco state and US$50mn in the Guadalajara metro region on value-added services. The company also expects its internet customers to increase by 170% in the states of Aguascalientes, Colima, Jalisco, Nayarit and Zacatecas. "In the Guadalajara metro area this year we fought the competition well in our various services and next year will be the same, from internet to public telephony," Ortega was reported as saying. Telmex spent US$93mn in the region this year, installing 95,000 lines to arrive at a total of 1.2 million lines. Jalisco state received US$57mn and the Guadalajara metro region received US$22mn under this plan. The company predicted it would arrive at more than 2 million telephone lines and cover 98% of the population in the zone in 2005. Telmex's lines grew 11.2% this year in the area and expects to grow another 11.8% in 2005. "We are prepared for the strong growth that is expected in the telecoms sector and Telmex will advance because of its competitive rates," Ortega said. Telmex plans to invest a total of US$2bn in Mexico next year and US$450mn outside.

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