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INTERVIEW-AT&T Mexico chief: will take "couple of years" to shape up Mexico business

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By Christine Murray

RIVIERA MAYA, Mexico, May 7 (Reuters) - AT&T will take "a couple of years" to shape up its new business in Mexico, where it competes with billionaire Carlos Slim's dominant carrier America Movil, AT&T Mexico Chief Executive Thaddeus Arroyo said in an interview on Thursday.

AT&T, which bought Mexico's No.3 and No.4 wireless carriers in the last few months, faces the task of integrating the two companies' networks to face off with Slim's telecoms giant, which controls 70 percent of the mobile market.

The purchases gave AT&T, which was looking for growth outside the saturated U.S. wireless market, a cheap foothold in Latin America, but analysts don't see the Mexico unit moving the dial for some time.

"What we really want to do over the long term is deploy advanced fourth generation services to over 100 million Mexicans ... That will take a number of years," Arroyo said in an interview on the sidelines of a World Economic Forum summit on Latin America in the Riviera Maya. (Reporting by Christine Murray; Editing by Simon Gardner)

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