According to an unverified report by regional website Central America Data, Nicaragua’s National Assembly is poised to resume its discussion of laws governing the installation and location of mobile base transceiver stations (BTS), which have been pending since 2003. The law, dubbed ‘Article 11’, reportedly concerns the proximity of cell sites to heavily populated areas. However, opposition MPs have already raised objections to the scheme, the timing of which they say, has been engineered to benefit China’s Xinwei Telecom Enterprise Group, which was recently awarded the country’s third mobile concession.
Xinwei is alleged to have ties to Laureano Ortega, the son of President Daniel Ortega, and the head of investment agency ProNicaragua, which is said to have had a hand in the deal. Commenting on this possible tie-up, Eliseo Nunez, deputy leader of the Nicaraguan Liberal Alliance (ALN), said: ‘I find it suspicious that you are changing telecommunications laws at the same time as you are introducing a new company that has ties to the current [government]’.