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LatAm Wrap-Up: Colombian ETB sells Tigo shares to UNE-EPM; Viettel launches in Peru

Colombian Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Bogotá has decided to sell its nearly 25% stake in Colombia Móvil-Tigo to UNE-EPM for $240 million.

Earlier this year, Millicon and EPM Telecomunicaciones, the largest shareholder of UNE EPM Telecomunicaciones, entered into exclusive negotiations about the possible combination of their Colombian telecom operations. Millicon is already a major shareholder in Tigo, and UNE-EPM’s acquisition of the ETB’s stake in the Tigo brings the merger closer.

In Argentina, Telecom Italia may sell a controlling stake in Telecom Argentina to investment fund Fintech. According to Reuters, the move would be part of Telecom Italia’s effort to raise $5.4 billion to avoid a credit downgrade and revive its business.

The future of both Telecom Argentina and TIM Brazil, which is also controlled by Telecom Italia, are under discussion since the Spain-based Telefónica announced plans to bolster its stake in the Telco holding company, which controls about 22% of Telecom Italia.

Citing people familiar with the matter, Bloomberg reported that Telefónica has also approached potential acquisition targets and partners in Mexico. Telefónica competes with América Móvil throughout the region. The move in Mexico could challenge América Móvil’s dominance.

Telefónica has reportedly held discussions with Grupo Iusacell SA, a smaller rival co-owned by Ricardo Salinas, and pay-TV provider Grupo Televisa SAB, among others.

All these developments point to big changes ahead for the Latin American wireless market in upcoming months.

New player: Viettel is planning to launch its Peruvian operations in January. Local papers reported that the telco has already deployed about 70% of its network and plans to complete its infrastructure by the end of this year.

More news from the Latin American region:

  • Movistar Chile is set to launch commercial LTE services this week. The Chilean minister of transport and telecommunications, Pedro Pablo Errazuriz; the undersecretary of telecommunications, Jorge Atton; and Movistar CEO Roberto Muñoz, are expected to attend the launch event.
  • Telefónica Global Solutions tapped Ciena to deploy Ciena’s 100G coherent optical transport technology on Telefónica’s SAm-1 submarine and terrestrial network, which connects the United States to Latin America. 
  • Brazil’s Oi said it has invested $289.5 million in the state of Minas Gerais.


Roberta Prescott
Roberta Prescott
Editor, [email protected] Roberta Prescott is responsible for Latin America reporting news and analysis, interviewing key stakeholders. Roberta has worked as an IT and telecommunication journalist since March 2005, when she started as a reporter with InformationWeek Brasil magazine and its website IT Web. In July 2006, Prescott was promoted to be the editor-in-chief, and, beyond the magazine and website, was in charge for all ICT products, such as IT events and CIO awards. In mid-2010, she was promoted to the position of executive editor, with responsibility for all the editorial products and content of IT Mídia. Prescott has worked as a journalist since 1998 and has three journalism prizes. In 2009, she won, along with InformationWeek Brasil team, the press prize 11th Prêmio Imprensa Embratel. In 2008, she won the 7th Unisys Journalism Prize and in 2006 was the editor-in-chief when InformationWeek Brasil won the 20th media award Prêmio Veículos de Comunicação. She graduated in Journalism by the Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Campinas, has done specialization in journalism at the Universidad de Navarra (Spain, 2003) and Master in Journalism at IICS – Universidad de Navarra (Brazil, 2010) and MBA – Executive Education at the Getulio Vargas Foundation.

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