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América Móvil: Full LTE launch in P.R. not until 3Q

Claro customers will have to wait until the end of the year for islandwide 4G LTE service. (Credit: © Mauricio Pascual)

During a recent call with investors, América Móvil CEO Daniel Hajj confirmed that the commercial launch of its 4G Long-Term Evolution platform in Puerto Rico will not take place until the third quarter of this year, following a limited roll-out of the next-generation technology late last year.

América Móvil, parent company of Claro Puerto Rico, referred to that limited footprint covering the San Juan metropolitan area its “soft launch.”

As News is my Business reported in November 2011, Claro Puerto Rico will be making significant infrastructure investments to deploy 4G LTE islandwide, which company president Enrique Ortiz de Montellano pegged at about $200 million this year.

With LTE, mobile phone customers are able to access faster transmission speeds for broadband and other services. Given that there are roughly 3.2 million mobile phones in use in Puerto Rico, carriers have said LTE will contribute toward bridging the island’s significant digital divide.

During the call, Hajj said América Móvil will introduce LTE in four or five Latin American markets this year, using its existing frequencies. América Móvil finished the first quarter of 2012 with 246 million wireless subscribers, 30 million landline customers, 16 million broadband accounts and 14 million paid television clients, according to its latest financial report.

Although the regional carrier does not break down figures for the local market, in its most recent annual report, it noted that Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic had more than 5.5 million wireless subscribers combined at the end of 2011.

In the report, América Móvil highlighted to investors the fact that the Telecommunications Regulatory Board granted Claro Puerto Rico an 18-year cable franchise license to launch Internet Protocol TV sometime this year.

White Motorola RAZR

White Motorola RAZR available
In related news, local Claro officials announced the arrival of the Motorola RAZR in its new “Sexy White” color. This smartphone, described as “impossibly thin, incredibly intelligent and incredibly sexy,” features a sculpted, glass screen, diamond-cut aluminum accents, and a hyper-vibrant 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Advanced display for vivid images.

It also sports KEVLAR fiber and Corning Gorilla Glass to help the screen stand up to scratches and scrapes. On the inside, the Motorola RAZR is equipped with 1GB of RAM and a dual-core 1.2GHz processor and the Android 2.3.5 operating system.

While the 4G LTE device promises bleeding-fast transmissions speeds, Claro customers will need to be within the carrier’s upgraded San Juan metropolitan area footprint to experience the smartphone’s full capacity.

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 30 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.

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