América Móvil offers wireless phone service from the Rio Grande to Tierra del Fuego. The company is Latin America's top mobile carrier with more than 225 million subscribers in 18 countries. In Mexico the company enjoys a 70% market share with nearly 65 million subscribers to its Telcel brand, which has 260+ retail stores. Its second largest market is Brazil, which serves more than 50 million subscribers through Claro. América Móvil also provides fixed-line service in Central America and the Caribbean, with more than 5 million lines. TracFone Wireless is América Móvil's US presence. Majority owner Carlos Slim Helú combined América Móvil with his fixed-line businesses Telmex in 2010 as part of a broader restructuring effort.
The $21 billion dollar deal was structured so that América Móvil acquired the minority stakes in Telmex that Helú did not already own, through a stock transaction with their controlling holding company Carso Global Telecom. The plan combined Helú's wired and wireless telecom interests in hopes of holding ground against increasing competition from smaller telephone companies and cable television operators like Televisa, which offer bundled phone, TV, and Internet services. The combined wired operations of Telmex and the wireless business of América Móvil provides phone, TV, and Internet services. As one company, the merger was slated to save about $700 million in administrative costs following the delisting of Telint and Carso Global.
In the US the company operates through subsidiary TracFone, which is a leading provider of pre-paid wireless services. TracFone products feature a pay-as-you-go, prepaid mobile phone with no annual contracts or activation fees. Its services account for more than 5% of América Móvil's total revenue. The company also owns more than 71% of Telvista, a call center company with locations in the US and Mexico.
América Móvil's operating revenues rose more than 8% in 2010 over 2009.
In 2012, Tracfone acquired Simple Mobile, which is one of the largest mobile virtual network operators for T-Mobile. The previous year América Móvil paid $75 million for a license to provide Costa Rica with satellite television, wireless phone, and Internet service under its Claro brand. Currently, the only telecom provider in the country is the government-controlled Instituto Costarricsense de Electricidad (Grupo ICE). Telefónica also plans to provide telecom services in Costa Rica.
América Móvil is acquiring 100% control of Telmex by buying the 40+% of the company it doesn't already own. Telmex will be delisted from the exchanges it trades on when the acquisition is complete, and it now operates as a brand that provides fixed-line service in Mexico and Columbia.
The family of Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim Helú (also the world's wealthiest person) controls more than 46% of América Móvil; AT&T owns nearly one quarter of the company and operates as a competitor in some of its smaller markets.