China-based Huawei Technologies has been selected by Millicom International Cellular (MIC) to deploy an international long-distance (ILD) network covering the three Central American countries of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. Huawei said in a press release that it will supply its ‘One Network’ international and domestic long-distance call solution in a project aimed at helping MIC (which operates under the Tigo and Amnet brands) to introduce new types of long-distance services, open alternative revenue streams and reinforce customer loyalty. ‘With our … experience in deploying convergent networks, we are delighted to build a multi-country network that will increase operational efficiency and business profitability for Millicom,’ said Zhang Shunmao, president of the vendor’s North Latin America division. As a substitute for legacy long-distance switches in the existing networks, Millicom will deploy an all-IP-based multi-country gateway designed to significantly simplify network architecture whilst improving both voice quality and reliability.
As previously reported in CommsUpdate, in March 2009 MIC purchased the remaining shares in Guatemala-based joint venture Navega, which controls the fibre-optic backbone rings for the group’s Tigo-branded mobile businesses in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that MIC has a 22.5% indirect interest in El Salvadoran wireline operator Telefonica Multiservicios, which offers triple-play services via a joint venture with Central American cable operator Amnet, the US-based parent company of which was acquired by MIC in 2008. Since acquiring the cable business, MIC has been integrating Amnet El Salvador with its local mobile unit Telemovil (Tigo), which is also licensed to provide wireline services. Tigo Guatemala (formerly Comcel) also offers fixed connections alongside cellular services, and Amnet Guatemala provides broadband internet access and cable TV across the country. Meanwhile, the Honduras arm of Tigo likewise provides fixed-wireless telephony over both CDMA and GSM networks, and in addition MIC’s 100%-owned Amnet unit provides Honduran customers with cable-based broadband, fixed telephony, corporate data and pay-TV services.