Orlando Castillo, the head of Nicaraguan telecoms regulator Telcor, has confirmed that a total of seven companies have paid the USD3,000 registration fee to participate in the government’s upcoming tender for two new mobile licences. Although Castillo was not willing to disclose the identities of the parties interested, he did confirm local press speculation implicating Beijing-based research and development firm Xinwei Telecom Enterprise Group and Costa Rica’s state-owned power and telecoms company Grupo Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (Grupo ICE), which offers mobile services in its domestic market under the ‘ICE Celular’ brand. The tender is expected to take place in mid-November, and interested parties will be permitted to form consortia to improve their chances of being selected.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, last month Telcor launched a tender for two new mobile licences in the 1785MHz-1805MHz band, with a view to breaking up the long-standing Claro/Movistar duopoly. Both concessions will allow the introduction of 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology and be geared towards operators which are prepared to concentrate on the deployment of rural-focused services. When announcing the tender Castillo indicated that a number of unspecified companies from China, South Korea and Taiwan had already lodged an interest in the tender.