Xinwei Telecom Enterprise Group of China has announced that it has finally launched mobile services in Nicaragua, operating under the CooTel brand name. Official government media outlet El Digital 19 quotes general manager Guanghan Xu as saying that the telco has installed 1,000 base transceiver stations (BTS) on utility poles belonging to the state electricity company. Xinwei has made an initial investment of USD200 million and created 300 jobs, the report adds. The launch sees Xinwei go head-to-head with Telefonica-backed Movistar and America Movil (AM)-subsidiary Claro.
The long-awaited deployment has already attracted criticism, however, with parliamentary opposition lawmaker Eliseo Nunez questioning why the total investment was lower than the USD700 million figure originally quoted. Xinwei has also been reproached for limiting its network footprint to the capital, Managua, when the licence stipulated the provision of rural coverage. Xinwei was issued with its 1785MHz-1805MHz concession on 22 November 2012, according to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database.