PageMart Wireless Inc. has crossed all borders in North America and some in Central America with its formation of the PageMart Network.
The international network is supported by affiliate carriers in Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, the Bahamas and areas of Central America to enable roaming across each other’s markets.
“We now have the most comprehensive system in North America,” said John Beletic, PageMart president and chief executive officer. “This is the most significant announcement the company has ever made.”
The best news for PageMart among its expansion agreements is a 10-year exclusivity commitment from Telefonos de Mexico.
“Telmex is the dominant provider of telecom services (in Mexico),” said Beletic. “That such a significant player on this planet would sign a 10-year exclusive deal with PageMart is quite a statement on their part.”
Telmex’s paging subsidiary, Buscatel, just completed building out its nationwide network, said Beletic. Buscatel has about 20,000 customers.
PageMart’s other affiliates include Radio Mensajes in Costa Rica, Tele Vip in El Salvador, Tele Escucha and Tele Mensajes in Guatemala, Mobilphone de Panama and Puerto Rico Telephone. PageMart Bahamas, a wholly owned subsidiary of Dallas-based PageMart, and PageMart Canada, owned 60 percent by PageMart, also are members of the PageMart Network.
It has been PageMart’s strategy to work toward building a network covering all countries under the North American Free Trade Agreement, said Beletic. “We attempt to find the most dominant telecom provider in each country so they can do a good job of marketing the PageMart Network in their country.”
The agreements represent a 35 percent increase in the population previously covered by PageMart.
Through the international venture, revenue is twofold, said Beletic. PageMart’s primary revenue source includes users who travel to other countries. Beletic expects those foreigners who roam on PageMart’s U.S. networks to provide a steady stream of revenue, as well.
The international network represents “a logical extension of our domestic concept,” stated Beletic. “I’ll give you the pager and you tell me where you want to go.”
In its U.S. markets, PageMart recently introduced OmniRoam and InfoRoam services for numeric and alphanumeric customers, respectively. PageMart offers these plans for less than other nationwide plans because users receive coverage only in a specific area of travel. Most nationwide coverage means signals are broadcast throughout a carrier’s entire network, which consumes much more system capacity.
OmniRoam’s monthly cost is $10 per month for nationwide, and $15 for international service. Both packages include 400 messages. InfoRoam costs $25 and $30 per month for nationwide and international alphanumeric service, and includes 400 numeric and 100 alphanumeric messages.