Xinwei finally stages user trials; will trade under CooTel brand

19 Jan 2016

More than three years after receiving a mobile licence in Nicaragua comprising 1785MHz-1805MHz spectrum, Chinese-backed Xinwei Intelcom has confirmed that it is now in the process of staging so-called ‘friendly user’ trials of its network. Speaking to local news site El Nuevo Diario, deputy managing director Pablo de la Roca has clarified that the previous batch of tests in November 2015 showed that the network was not yet ready for commercial use, leading to a further delay. The telco has currently deployed infrastructure in Managua, Ciudad Sandino, Masaya and Tipitapa, with Chinandega and Rivas next in line. The network kit primarily consists of ‘micro antennas’, which have been installed on utility poles. Further, Mr de la Roca notes that the service will be marketed under the CooTel brand name, as currently utilised by Xinwei’s Cambodian subsidiary.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, the Chinese parent company, which made a name for itself through its patented multi-carrier wireless in the local loop (McWiLL) systems, reportedly plans to roll out a nationwide network based on time division synchronous code division multiple access (TD-SCDMA) technology, as popularised by China Mobile. Progress has been slow however, and a series of provisional launch dates have been jettisoned since the original 22 November 2012 licence award was confirmed.