Beijing Xinwei Telecom Technology, a Chinese telecoms firm, is moving closer to launching services in Nicaragua, a move analysts say will shake up telecom market in the Central American country.
The Chinese firm will offer a wide variety of telecoms services, including fixed telephony, public telephony, Internet, data transmission, mobile telephony and pay-TV.
The Nicaraguan government is optimistic that Xinwei, which is also building the Nicaraguan Canal at a cost of US$40 billion, will increase the efficiency of telephone service in the country and force its rivals like Movistar and Claro to lower telecoms prices.
The Chinese firm has won six telecoms licenses. The fixed telephony license is valid for 20 years and the remaining licenses will be valid for a six years, according to Nicaraguan telecom regulator Telcor.
In January last year, Xinwei, which will speed up broadband penetration and 4G roll-outs in Nicaragua, announced that it had set aside $300 million to launch its operations.
Research and Market says Xinwei’s entry will make Nicaragua the second fastest growing telecom market in all of Latin America, with cell phone and Internet accounting for 75% of telecoms revenue. According to its estimate, Nicaragua generated $794 million in telecom service revenue in 2014, a 12.5% increase from 2013.
According to reports, the Chinese firm is rapidly building cellular networks in about seven municipalities in the North Atlantic region.
Xinwei is also handling a World Bank-funded rural telecommunications project in Nicaragua. Under this agreement, it must give mobile and Internet access to hundreds of thousands of people spread around a vast area covering more than 100 municipal centers.