Around the world, spinning off mobile tower infrastructure is becoming increasingly popular

America Movil is set to become the latest in a long line of telcos to spin off their mobile tower infrastructure, in this case across its entire Latin American footprint. 

The operator said the move would allow them to maximise the towers value, with a separate management team to focus on developing its passive network elements. 

Pending shareholder and regulatory approval, the move is expected to be complete later this year.

The move was announced alongside America Movil’s quarterly figures yesterday, during which the company announcing an 80% jump in profit, noting a significant increase in postpaid mobile subscribers. Net profit rose from 20.8 billion pesos last year to 28.3 billion ($1.87 billion) this year.

“We added 6.8 million wireless subscribers in the quarter, double the number in the previous quarter… including 2.7 million mobile postpaid subscribers,” said the company.

However, as encouraging as these figures may be, they alone do not tell the full story, with a large part of this increase a result of a favourable exchange rate, with the Mexican peso strengthening versus the US dollar and the euro. 

Meanwhile in Europe, America Movil announced two weeks ago that it had again increased its stake in Dutch operator KPN, raising it from 16% to 20%. America Movil and owner Carlos Slim tried to acquire the Dutch company back in 2013, but was blocked from doing so by both the Dutch government and KPN’s board. At the time, America Movil’s ownership of KPN was around 30%, but this had been gradually reduced over subsequent years. Now, this new interest in KPN could be as a result of the company’s low valuation towards the end of last year, which is attracting the interest of investment firms like EQT and Brookfield.  


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