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chello Takes its Broadband to Latin America

European high-speed Internet provider chello broadband announced Friday that it has opened an office in Brazil in preparation for the introduction of its services to Latin America.

chello, an operating company of United Pan Europe Communications (UPC), says it will provide a high-speed Internet service in Latin America within the next 12 months.

At the end of last year, chello purchased Lotier International, a broadband operation founded by Fares Nassar who will head the chello service in Latin America. Previously, Lotier conducted cable modem trials in Argentina, Brazil, Columbia, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela, paving the way for the new venture.

Roger Lynch, president and CEO of chello broadband, said that chello's European experience had proved that it could scale quickly on many levels.

"chello's local-language approach and celebration of cultural diversity across European markets give us the expertise to successfully design and deliver specialized broadband content in Portugese and Spanish with a keen local-focus," said Lynch.

At the end of January 2000, chello had 133,700 European subscribers in six countries, having grown nearly 400 per cent during 1999.

Mitch Clarke, managing director of sales and affiliate operations of chello broadband, said the company's strategy was to partner with broadband network operators that are large enough to provide a substantial footprint, and nimble enough to move quickly.

In Europe, chello aims its service at both business and residential subscribers, and provides cable operators and other broadband networks with access to the high-speed Internet.

Outside Europe, chello has established offices in Washington DC, and Sydney, Australia. In Australia it operates with United Globalcom (UGC) affiliate AUSTAR United Communications and distributes the broadband service via satellite.