Argentine mobile operator Claro, owned by Mexican giant America Movil (AM), expects to invest USD1 billion within the next three years, reports BNamericas, quoting an interview with AM CEO Daniel Hajj in local paper La Nacion. The executive said the investment will be chiefly geared towards the expansion of the 3G network and new platforms. Claro, until last month known as CTI Movil, expects to obtain additional spectrum to achieve its expansion programme in the country, Hajj said. Rival cellco Movistar Argentina, owned by Spainís Telefonica, was obliged to return 35MHz of spectrum in the 850MHz band as a condition of the merger of its two local units Movicom and Unifon in 2005. Hajj said Movistar should have returned the frequencies by the end of 2007, and called on the government to launch international bidding once the spectrum becomes available. Claro hopes to obtain the additional allocation to increase its penetration in the Buenos Aires area. In the meantime, the cellco expects to deploy 250 additional base stations this year.