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America Movil CEO: Number Portability 'Positive or Neutral'

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MEXICO CITY (Dow Jones) Mexican wireless operator America Movil expects new rules requiring phone companies to provide number portability to be "positive or neutral" for the its Mexican unit Telcel, a top company official said Tuesday.

"Maybe it's going to be neutral in the first one or two months, then it's going to be positive," said America Movil Chief Executive Daniel Hajj in a conference call with analysts to discuss the company's second-quarter results.

Number portability, which went into effect this month, will allow Mexican consumers to keep their telephone numbers when they change service providers, and is aimed at boosting competition in the telecommunications industry.

Last week, officials at media conglomerate Grupo Televisa said portability could particularly benefit cable companies that have telephony operations.

But Hajj said Telcel's expansive network, along with its marketing and technological prowess, gives it an advantage over its competitors that shouldn't be rattled by the new rules.

"We're feeling very comfortable with portability," Hajj said.

Telcel is Mexico's leading mobile phone service provider, with 52.9 million subscribers at the end of the second quarter.

Hajj said America Movil's expectations for 2008 net additions remains unchanged at 21 million to 22 million new subscribers in all 16 countries where it operates, and that the company is maintaining its guidance for 2008 capital expenditures at $4 billion.

-By Paul Kiernan, Dow Jones Newswires; (5255)5001-5726, paul.kiernan@dowjones.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

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