Venezuela awards new ISP licence; Chilean investor acquires DirecTV assets

20 Aug 2020

Venezuela’s National Telecommunications Commission (Comision Nacional de Telecomunicaciones, Conatel) has awarded an ISP licence to Conext Venezuela. The newcomer will initially serve the state of Zulia using fibre technology. Leonardo Chavez, a representative of the company, confirmed that Conext has made ‘a significant investment in technological equipment and fibre-optics in order to provide a quality service to Venezuelan homes’. (Note: Conext is not thought to be connected to Carabobo-based ICT firm Corporacion Conex Telecom, which was founded in 2015 and went on to deploy a 900km fibre network.)

In other news, Bloomberg reports that Chilean investment firm Scale Capital has reached an agreement to acquire DirecTV’s operations in Venezuela, with former boss Alexander Elorriaga taking over as the new company director. The announcement comes three months after AT&T said it would shut down operations in the country, because it was caught between restrictions imposed via US sanctions and the broadcasting mandates of the Venezuelan government. It remains unclear as to whether Scale Capital’s takeover also includes the 2.6GHz 4G licence won by DirecTV in 2014. The as-yet-unused USD120 million concession is valid until 2029. TeleGeography notes that Scale Capital is currently active in the Chilean mobile sector, via its domestic MVNO Simple Moviles.