China's Xinwei to launch phone service in Nicaragua

MANAGUA Fri Jan 11, 2013 7:25pm EST

MANAGUA Jan 11 (Reuters) - China's Xinwei Telecom Enterprise Group has won approval to operate cellphone and Internet services in Nicaragua and expects to invest $2 billion in the Central American country over the next three years, Nicaragua's telecoms regulator said on Friday.

The company will start operations this year and plans to invest an initial $700 million to allow it to offer coverage across the country, said Orlando Castillo, head of the regulatory agency Telcor.

The total investment over three years will round out to about $2 billion, Castillo told local television. He did not give further details of the authorization.

Claro, a unit of tycoon Carlos Slim's America Movil , Telefonica's Movistar and Russian firm Yota currently operate phone and Internet services in Nicaragua.