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​Mexican regulators OK AT&T's $2.5B deal for carrier Iusacell

AT&T is a step closer to expanding its wireless coverage outside the US, which would be a first for a US carrier.

AT&T has gotten the green light from Mexican regulators for its $2.5 billion purchase of Iusacell, the No. 3 wireless carrier in Mexico.

AT&T will be the first US carrier to offer wireless service outside of the US. Josh Lowensohn/CNET

Reuters reported Sunday that Mexico's Federal Competition Commission approved the deal with certain conditions put on the transaction to "avoid risks to the process of competition" where Iusacell competes with America Movil, Mexico's largest wireless network, which is run by billionaire Carlos Slim Helu. AT&T sold off its minority stake in America Movil this past summer to win regulatory approval for its acquisition of satellite TV provider DirecTV.

Iusacell had been operated as a joint venture between Mexico's biggest broadcaster Televisa and Grupo Salinas.

Once the deal is finalized, AT&T will have access to Iusacell's network and its 8.6 million wireless customers. Iusacell's network covers roughly 70 percent of Mexico's population. AT&T has said it plans to use the Iusacell network to create a North American that will cover its AT&T customers in the US as well as Iusacell's customers in Mexico.

If the deal closes, it will be the first time a US wireless operator has offered service outside its home country.

"Iusacell gives us a unique opportunity to create the first-ever North American Mobile Service area covering over 400 million consumers and businesses in Mexico and the United States," AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said in a statement when the deal was announced. "It won't matter which country you're in or which country you're calling -- it will all be one network, one customer experience."