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Claro wraps up ’14 with $100M in capital upgrades

Enrique Ortiz de Montellano

Enrique Ortiz de Montellano

Telecommunications provider Claro de Puerto Rico will wrap up 2014 with a total of $100 million in capital investments in its fiber optic network, mobile infrastructure and application development — among other improvements — to be able to offer customers “the best cutting-edge technology” available, company President Enrique Ortiz de Montellano said Tuesday.

While he did not disclose how much will be pumped into the operation next year, Ortiz de Montellano confirmed that plans call for significantly increasing the number of LTE access points available to be able to deliver faster wireless broadband service to as much of the island as possible.

“This month we’re strengthening our 3G network, by adding LTE in areas of highest demand. We should have 30 towns covered by Dec. 31,” he said, noting that investments falls within the $100 million budget.

“We will be opening between five and 10 new LTE points every week, to deliver 180 new access points islandwide by the first quarter of 2015,” Ortiz de Montellano said, during an event where Claro and its mobile partners LG and Samsung showcased what are expected to be some of the most sought-after tech devices this holiday season.

The portfolio includes several smartphones and tablets, including the Motorola Maxx, the Nexus 6, the LG G3 Stylus and the LG G3 Beat. As for tablets, Samsung presented its Galaxy Tab 4 with 7-inch and 10.1-inch screens.

For the holiday season, Claro will also be offering customers the opportunity to purchase large-screen TVs and pay them in installments them through their monthly bills. While this is the first time Claro offers this type of financing for flatscreens, it has been doing it for a while throughout Latin America, the executive explained.

There are two models available — a 60-inch and a 50-inch Sony Bravia — that Claro customers can purchase and pay $29.95 or $19.95 a month, respectively.

Ortiz de Montellano said, “This is just one more way we’re supporting our customers in difficult economic times. We’ve been doing this in Latin America and now we’re doing it in Puerto Rico,” where Claro already offers financing options for desktop and laptop computers.

Meanwhile, the executive also announced the availability of “Claro Cloud,” a cloud-based telecommunications service for small and mid-sized businesses that give companies access to servers at a fraction of what it would cost to purchase and maintain them.

Claro’s growth plans for 2015 also include expanding its islandwide Wi-Fi network, currently estimated at 800 points, as well as improving signaling, Ortiz de Montellano said.

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 29 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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