It's official: AT&T is heading down to Mexico.
The Dallas-based telecommunications giant said Friday that it had closed its $2.5 billion acquisition of Mexican wireless carrier Iusacell. The company also named Thaddeus Arroyo, who served as president of AT&T Technology Development, the new CEO of the operation, based in Mexico City.
The deal enables AT&T to tap into the faster-growing market in Mexico at a time when more US consumers own smartphones and competition has only gotten fiercer. Iusacell brings AT&T 9.2 million wireless subscribers and has a network that covers 70 percent of Mexico's population of 120 million people. Adding Iusacell's network also gives AT&T unprecedented wireless coverage in North America, a boon to anyone who frequently travels or makes calls to Mexico.
"We look forward to bringing more wireless competition to Mexico along with an improved mobile Internet experience for customers," AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said in a statement.
AT&T intends to upgrade the Iusacell network and sees an opportunity in selling more smartphones and mobile Internet services in Mexico.
Iusacell's former CEO, Adrián Steckel, will help Arroyo with the integration of Iusacell into AT&T. Arroyo was previously chief information officer of AT&T, as well as CIO of the mobility unit.
This is the first of two major deals to close for AT&T this year. The company is still waiting on the approval of its acquisition of satellite-TV service provider DirecTV.