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Slim: America Movil earmarks US$1.1bn for Claro in 2008

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"Claro is investing a lot in order to increase its capacity and its national presence, above all in 3G," Slim said after a meeting with President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

Also present at the meeting were Claro president Joao Cox and Carlos Henrique Moreira, president of long distance and data services provider Embratel, owned by America Movil's sister company Telmex.

Slim also said that he had spoken with President Lula about the importance of greater broadband coverage in Brazil.

The Brazilian government is scheduled to auction 3G licenses on December 18, and any firm intent on national 3G coverage is expected to have to spend at least 636mn reais on licenses. Claro has already deployed much of the infrastructure it would need for 3G service.

Claro Brasil ended the third quarter with 28mn subscribers and a 24.8% market share.

Coincidentally, America Movil issued bonds worth a total of US$1bn this week, international newswires reported. The group issued one US$600mn tranche of 10-year notes at 5.625%, and a US$400mn tranche of 30-year bonds at 6.125% interest.

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Tags: 3g license  america movil  3g licenses  claro  carlos slim  3g coverage  Brazil