Sir Richard Branson has thrown down the gauntlet to fellow billionaire Carlos Slim and is now vying to enter the Mexican mobile market.
Slim, the world’s second richest man, made his vast fortunes in the often restricted South American market but has faced increasing competition in recent years as successive legislation has opened up the scope for greater competition.
Sir Richard has been vying to be a bigger player since 2010 when he rolled out the Virgin Mobile brand to Chile and Columbia although the move into Mexico is the boldest yet.
Slim’s America Movil’s Mexican network, Telcel, services at least two thirds of the country’s 100 million mobile users.
In an interview with the Latin American business magazine Expansion, Sir Richard said: “I think there’s room for both of us. I don’t think [Carlos Slim] will suffer much from our presence.”
Virgin Mobile is now expected to commence its Mexican operations next year.