The FINANCIAL — In a meeting on June 25 with Mexico President Enrique Peña Nieto, AT&T1 Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson announced that AT&T plans to invest approximately US$3 billion to extend its high-speed, mobile Internet service to Mexico, covering 100 million people in Mexico by year-end 2018.
This is in addition to the US$4.4 billion AT&T invested earlier this year to acquire Iusacell and NEXTEL Mexico, according to AT&T.
“We are building a network in Mexico that is capable of bringing innovation and economic vitality to the country, just as we have done in the U.S.,” Stephenson said. “We plan to deliver high-quality, high-speed mobile Internet service to Mexico, creating the first-ever North American Mobile Service Area covering 400 million people and businesses in Mexico and the U.S. This seamless network will link together our two countries’ economies, people and cultures like never before.
“Reforms introduced by President Peña Nieto, with support from the Mexican Congress and IFETEL, have given us the ability to invest in building an advanced mobile network in Mexico,” Stephenson said. “As we are now seeing in Mexico, business investment increases with thoughtful, responsible regulation. And when companies invest — whether in expansion or improved services for consumers and businesses — they create jobs. It is a simple, powerful formula.
“The mobile Internet in the U.S. created an engine of economic growth. As we extend it into Mexico, we believe it will do the same here,” Stephenson said. “Beyond accelerating economic growth, the mobile Internet is about changing the way people live and work, keeping families better connected, opening up new educational and health care opportunities, and strengthening and empowering communities.”
New Plans and Features for Customers
AT&T expects the first phase of its state-of-the-art, high-speed mobile network will be complete in the next six months and cover 40 million Mexicans, about one-third of the population. By the end of 2016, AT&T expects its mobile Internet service will reach 75 million people, nearly two-thirds of the population. AT&T plans to reach 100 million people by year-end 2018.
Next month, AT&T will introduce new plans for its Mexican customers that take advantage of the company’s North American Mobile Service Area. The new plans let Mexicans use their individual plans — including voice, data and text messaging — while in the U.S. Customers on these new plans will also be able to use their available community minutes to call friends and family in the U.S. who are on the AT&T network. It’s one phone, one plan, covering two countries.
AT&T will also offer other features for its customers in Mexico, including Google Play billing, a first in Latin America. Customers with Google Android devices can download apps, books, movies, music and games with just one click — no credit cards needed — and have it added to their monthly wireless bills.
Commitment to Customers and the Community
AT&T is committed to delivering a great experience to its customers in Mexico. During the summer, the company will begin rolling out Nuestra Promesa (Our Promise). It encourages all employees to commit to a higher level of customer experience. AT&T based Nuestra Promesa on the service excellence standard it has in the U.S. That standard has earned the company multiple national awards for purchase experience and customer care.
In his talks with President Peña Nieto, Stephenson reiterated AT&T’s commitment to all Mexican citizens. “We believe in taking care of the people in the communities where we live and work,” he said. “As a start, we’ll launch our “It Can Wait” campaign in Mexico City in the months ahead to discourage people from texting while driving. No text is worth a life. That’s a message we’ll send to all wireless users across Mexico. The dangers of texting and driving are just as serious in Mexico as they are in the United States.”
AT&T will also be the first Mexican wireless carrier to collaborate with the Alerta Amber (Amber Alert) initiative at a national level. Iusacell, Nextel and Unefon users will receive text messages when a child is missing or abducted in their area.
And, AT&T will invest to help more students in Mexico succeed in school and prepare for the workforce. This commitment will include corporate contributions and work with outstanding non-profit organizations focused on education. AT&T will introduce new learning opportunities for high school students to develop job skills that prepare them for work and teach them about different careers.
Investing in AT&T’s People
Stephenson also recognized AT&T’s employees in Mexico for their contributions to the company’s success. “Everything that we’ve accomplished and our future plans for Mexico depend on one thing: Our people,” he said. “Our employees are critical to our success, and we’ll support them by making AT&T a great place to work in Mexico.”
Stephenson set a goal for AT&T to be one of the best employers in Mexico. To reach this goal, AT&T will introduce a number of programs to support its workforce. In 2016, AT&T will offer tuition support to help employees pursue educational opportunities to advance their careers.
The company is also committed to diversity, with a focus on women and people with disabilities. AT&T plans to launch a Mexico chapter of the Women of AT&T employee resource group later this year and to collaborate with colleges to recruit female students in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields. AT&T has already moved quickly to expand opportunities for women: Today, women hold 25 percent of leadership positions in the company’s Mexico operations, up from 10 percent when the company entered the market earlier this year.