Telmex to launch video phone in Mexico

Mexican phone operator Telefonos de Mexico SA said Tuesday it plans to launch a video phone service here next week.

Telmex Chief Executive Jaime Chico said it's difficult to quantify the company's investment in the new product line, since Telmex has boosted its technological capacity over several years with annual expenditures of US$200 million (Ђ171 million) for its domestic fiber-optic network.

"The weight of content is constantly increasing, and our data services are growing at a very fast rate," Chico said at a news conference. "The same technological evolution of Telmex's network is facilitating the development of new products."

Initially, Telmex plans to offer the service on its regular 75,000-kilometer (46,600-mile) network for corporate and household users. It plans to later expand the video phone option to broadband &to=' target=_blank>Internet customers.

The company also hopes to find partners in the United States so it can offer cross-border video phone service for the millions of Mexicans living there.

Despite having been privatized more than 15 years ago, Telmex controls over 90 percent of Mexico's phone lines. At the end of September, it had 18.1 million lines in service. During the first nine months of the year, the company's Mexican operations reported US$3 billion (Ђ2.57 billion) in operating profit on sales of US$8.39 billion (Ђ7.17 billion)

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