February 12, 2008 / 3:55 AM / 11 years ago

UPDATE 3-Mexico's America Movil to feature YouTube on cellphones

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By Cyntia Barrera Diaz

MEXICO CITY, Feb 11 (Reuters) - America Movil (AMXL.MX), Latin America’s leading wireless operator, said on Monday it will feature the popular YouTube.com videos on its cell phones in a drive to further boost its booming client base.

An America Movil spokeswoman said YouTube videos would be first available on all 3G equipment — the latest take on wireless communications — in Mexico but that they would extend to company operations in other parts of Latin America.

“The fact that you can have a great amount of content ... at everybody’s reach could be one of the things to trigger interest among those willing to pay for this service,” said Martin Gonzalez, an analyst with Invex financial group.

Web sensation YouTube.com, a unit of Google Inc (GOOG.O), is opening up its service to run on millions of cell phones capable of using high-speed wireless links.

Diego Molina, head of business development for Google in Latin America, told Reuters YouTube would be available for America Movil’s Claro customers in Brazil in the first quarter of this year.

“With regards to the rest of the region, we are waiting to launch YouTube sites in each of the countries in order to introduce the mobile versions there,” he said.

YouTube has local sites in over 15 countries, including Mexico and Brazil. Every minute, YouTube users from all around the globe upload 10 hours of video, Molina said.

As part of YouTube’s two-year exclusivity deal with America Movil, the video Web site plans to share advertising revenue with the Mexican company but Molina did not elaborate.

America Movil (AMX.N) has more than 150 million cell phone clients from the United States to Argentina. It operates in 15 Latin American countries outside Mexico.

In the United States, YouTube only provides a full mobile video service to users of Apple Inc’s (AAPL.O) iPhone and to devices sold by Helio, a small wireless provider that targets young, tech-savvy consumers.

YouTube is also testing software that will make it easier for mobile phone users to upload videos from phones onto YouTube.com, potentially allowing for broader use of video to document everything from Aunt Maria’s birthday party to Beyonce tripping on stage. (Additional reporting by Tomas Sarmiento; Editing by Lincoln Feast)

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