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DISH and Claro Join Forces

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DISH Network Corp.’s (DISH - Free Report) Puerto Rican subsidiary and America Movil S.A.B. de C.V. (AMX - Free Report) -owned Claro Puerto Rico have teamed up to offer triple-play services (video, voice and Internet) in Puerto Rico at an affordable rate.

The service will be available from today in 150 retail stores. The bundled package starts from $54.98 per month and includes Internet service, free modem Wi-Fi, unlimited phone calls and easy access to numerous Wi-Fi hotspots of Claro, within the island.

Moreover, customers will have the option to use the popular Hopper Whole-Home HD DVR devices. Hooper enables users to watch TV shows and movies in 4 different rooms at the same time and record 6 HD shows simultaneously.

Additionally, Hooper also includes AUTO HOP features, which enable DISH’s Puerto Rican customers to record up to 500 hours of HD programming.   On the other hand, Claro Puerto Rico offers voice data and cable TV services.  America Movil acquired Claro Puerto Rico from Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ - Free Report) in 2007.

Apart from bundled service offerings, the customers will benefit from Claro’s convenient payment scheme. The subscribers of the triple-play package will get a single bill at the end of the month and can make payment over the Internet through an eBill and through phones and ATM machines. Payment can also be made at Claro’s Customer Service Centers and stores.

Cable and satellite TV operators are facing intense competition from telecom operators and low-cost online video streaming companies like Netflix Inc. (NFLX - Free Report) , and YouTube. In order to counter competition in the domestic market, the satellite TV operators are expanding their operations in Latin American countries, where pay-TV penetration is still quite low.

The DISH-Claro tie-up will not only offer triple-play services but will also safeguard its position against arch rival, DIRECTV, which has a presence in Puerto Rico.

Currently, DISH Network carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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