Nuevatel gets funding to expand

4 Feb 2003

Bolivian cellco Nuevatel has secured a USD50 million loan from the US government’s Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC). The credit facility will allow Nuevatel and its parent Western Wireless International to replace short-term equipment financing with long-term debt and expand the coverage and quality of its GSM network. Nuevatel operates in Bolivia under the brand name Viva GSM; at the end of December 2002 it had 130,000 customers, making it the country’s smallest operator, well behind market leaders Telecel and Entel Movil. Nuevatel launched fixed line long-distance services in mid-2002 and is currently evaluating the prospects of entering the ISP market.