Movistar El Salvador earmarks USD250m for LTE launch

10 Nov 2016

Spanish telecoms company Telefonica is planning to invest USD250 million in the deployment of LTE technology in El Salvador over the next three years, TeleSemana writes. The El Salvadorian unit, which trades as Movistar, will launch the 4G service in the San Salvador and La Libertad municipalities in December. The second stage of the deployment will expand the network to Santa Ana and San Miguel, with a view to covering all 14 departmental capitals in the first quarter of 2017. Movistar will utilise a portion of its spectrum in the 1900MHz band for the launch. Sergio Chueca, director of Movistar, said: ‘This investment represents a major challenge for the company, but a challenge we decided to face and overcome.’

TeleGeography notes that the El Salvadorian telecoms regulator has been planning to launch a tender for mobile broadband spectrum in the 1900MHz and 1700MHz/2100MHz (AWS) bands since 2013, though the planned auction was delayed on several occasions as the competition regulator ruled that the tender terms and conditions put potential new players at a disadvantage. While the government amended the telecoms law in May 2016 by revising the management and allocation of broadcasting spectrum, the LTE frequency auction is yet to take place.

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