SIGET offers public service of telephone to new company called ANTEL

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By Lourdes Hurtado M.

The Superintendency General of Electricity and Telecommunications (SIGET) published a notice stating that on February 20 it granted a public telephone service concession to ANTEL S.A. de C.V. for a period of 30 years.

The new company National Telecommunications Administration (ANTEL S.A. de C.V.) is called as the former state entity that operated from 1963 to 1998 when the government privatized telecommunications in the country.

This new ANTEL was constituted a year ago, as reflected in the public register, with a share capital of $200,000, and its majority shareholder, with 90% of the shares, is the Transmitting Company of El Salvador (ETESAL); the remaining 10% belongs to the Cucumacayán S.A. Eléctrica Company of C.V. (Cfvdfen the home of the new ANTEL is the same as that of ETESAL, in the residential Spring of Santa Tevcla, and the president director is also the same: Edwin Nuñez. This media sought from SIGET to have more detail on what type of public telephone service this concession consisted of, but until the close of the note did not offer a response.

What role will the new company play?

There are currently more than 876,000 fixed lines in operation in the country, 11.3 million mobile lines in operation and more than 975,000 Internet subscribers, as detailed in the latest SIGET report. Which of these services will the new ANTEL provide? There’s no clarity.

According to article 6 of the General Telecommunications Act, the public telecommunications service consists of “any telecommunications service that the State requires under the law, which is offered to the general public. These services may include, but are not limited to, telephony and data transmission typically related to customer-provided information between two or more points, without any end-to-end changes in the form or content of the customer’s information, not including information services.”

In the public register, the corporate name of the new ANTEL details that the social purpose of the entity is to carry out activities related to telecommunications and connectivity, which implies: “designing, building, managing, maintaining and operating telecommunications networks.”

It may also “operate telecommunications traffic, national and international.” It may also “buy and sell all kinds of goods, rights or shares of social participation”; “promote and develop all kinds of commercial enterprises, representation in the country of domestic and/or foreign companies, as well as the distribution and sale of their services.” ANTEL S.A. de C.V. may import for itself or for the sale of third parties, machinery, materials and equipment of all kinds… related to its social purpose,” and may “execute and participate in all kinds of investments and trade activities, authorized by law.”

On the other hand, SIGET announced this week that it has granted the granting of radio spectrum frequencies for fixed satellite service to Starlink, for 10 years and in a “non-exclusive” way.

Relived ANTEL

The new company bears the same name as the extinct National Telecommunications Administration that operated for more than 30 years in El Salvador, until the service was privatized in 1998, dividing it into two: Wireless and Wireless Allah. This is how France-TELECOM and Telefónica de España entered the market.

This article has been translated from the original which first appeared in La Prensa Grafica