Branson to take on Carlos Slim in Mexican mobile market
Virgin boss announces plans to his expand mobile trade into the home turf of world's richest man
RICHARD BRANSON is to take on fellow billionaire Carlos Slim on his home turf as he enters the Mexican mobile market.
Branson, who has already introduced his mobile brand to Latin America in Chile and Colombia, says Virgin Mobile Mexico will trade as a virtual network from next year. Just as it does in Britain and America, Virgin will buy airtime wholesale from an established telecommunications company, rather than take on massive costs by building new masts, reports the Daily Telegraph.
Slim's mobile network Telcel currently serves more than two thirds of the country's 100 million mobile users. However, Mexican congress paved the way for Branson's expansion when it passed legislation curbing the market dominance of companies like Slim's.
In order to increase competition and investment in the sector, the reform bill has created a new industry regulator and imposed a 50 per cent market share limit in the telecoms and television sectors.
According to Forbes, Slim is currently the world's richest man, with a personal wealth is estimated at $73bn (£46bn). He also provides 80 per cent of Mexico's landlines.
In an interview with the Latin American business magazine Expansion, Branson, who is worth a meagre $4.6bn, said: "I think there's room for both of us. I don't think [Slim] will suffer much from our presence." ·