Mexican telecom operator Telcel announced late yesterday that it has launched LTE services in nine cities, with plans to expand to 26 markets during the first quarter of next year. That expansion will see the country’s largest wireless operator and unit of América Móvil reach 65% of the country’s population.
The launch plans follow those of rival Movistar, which is a unit of Telefónica, that launched LTE services in September.
Tijuana, Hermosillo, Ciudad Juárez, Guadalajara, Querétaro, Puebla, Mérida, Monterrey and Distrito Federal are the first cities to receive the services. Six LTE-compatible handsets are being offered.
Currently, Telcel counts 66.7 million customers and covers about 200,000 towns across the country’s nine regions, representing over 90% of all Mexican populated areas. As noted by America Movil Chief Executive Daniel Hajj, approximately 35% of Telcel’s mobile subscriber base currently uses data services, broken down as 20% accessing data via its 2G network and 15% connecting via its 3G infrastructure.