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Nicaragua - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Nicaragua - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

  • November 2021
  • 103 pages
  • ID: 3226805
  • Format: PDF
  • Paul Budde Communication Pty Ltd


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Nicaragua set to gain from additional international internet connectivity

Nicaragua’s telecom market is among the least developed in the region. This has translated into very low fixed-line teledensity, low mobile penetration, and a fixed broadband penetration which has only just approached 5%. There is also a considerable urban-rural divide, with most internet users being in towns.

Rolling out services in rural and outlying areas has proven to be a costly task, with which the incumbent telco (originally Enitel before being rebranded as Claro in 2009) was ill equipped to deal. To service remote rural areas the company relied on satellite connectivity. Since 2006 the telecom sector regulator, Telcor, has managed Nicaragua’s universal access fund to finance the roll out of telecom and ITC services in rural areas and for low-income groups.

Some practical concerns have been the high price of access to the international backbone, limited speeds in the local and international connections, and a monopoly in the market for renting dedicated lines. Together, these factors have reduced the affordability of services. In addition, there is widespread poverty in the country, and though there is an enormous unmet demand for internet services, connectivity and access remain unfeasible for many.

Effort has been made to address at least some of these issues. In September 2021, financing was arranged to build the 3,472km Caribbean Express (CX) submarine cable, which will connect the US with Panama, Mexico, and Colombia. It is expected that additional links will be made in future to connect to Nicaragua and other countries in Central America and the Caribbean. Although the cable is not expected to be lit until mid-2024, and an extension to it will be some way off, the additional capacity is sorely needed by the Nicaragua’s service providers, and by all end-users concerned with affordability.

Key developments:

  • América Móvil announces plan to spin off towers and other related passive infrastructure in Latin American countries;

  • Nicaragua on the cards to be joined to the Caribbean Express (CX) submarine cable;

  • Telcor issues regulation requiring operators to preserve data generated from telecom services;

  • BT Group sells its Latin American units and assets to CIH Telecommunications Americas;

  • Tigo develops $50 million plan to modernise its mobile network in Nicaragua;

  • Tigo launches the Mi Tigo self-management tool for customers;

  • Millicom selects Harmonic to deploy a cloud-based wireline broadband architecture;

  • Tigo to provide digital services to 830 Walmart stores in Central America;

  • World Bank approves $80 million credit for the Nicaragua Hurricanes Eta and Iota Emergency Response Project;

  • Report update includes the regulator’s market data, ITU data for 2019, Telecom Maturity Index charts and analyses, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:
  • América Móvil, BellSouth, Claro, Datang Mobile, Movistar, Millicom International Cellular (MIC), Nicacel, Telcor, Telefónica, Tigo, Xinwei Telecom, Yota Nicaragua.
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