Asia Express - East Asian ICT
Mobile Communications - Pantech to Establish Units in Mexico, Netherlands
November 05, 2004
Korean mobile phone maker Pantech said it would establish subsidiaries in the Netherlands and Mexico by the end of 2004, in an attempt to bolster its branded business overseas.


Pantech will invest US$150 million in establishing Pantech Netherlands B.V. in November 2004, in which it will hold 70% interest. Curitel will take the remaining stake. Pantech also plans to set up a similar unit in Mexico with an investment of US$585 million and will have 100% ownership.


As another booster to Pantech's branded business, the Chinese government granted the Korean maker a license to sell branded handsets in the local market. If an interoperability test with China's CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) proves successful, Pantech is expected to begin handset sales in this rapidly-growing market by the end of 2004.


Meanwhile, Curitel also announced its decision to further consolidate its US sales networks. Approximately US$7.1 million will be invested to this effort by the second quarter of 2005. This marks Curtitel's latest move to create its own channels in the US after it failed to secure the acquisition of Audiovox's handset distribution unit in June 2004.


Curitel will open its first office in Los Angeles in December 2004, followed by five other offices.