Sigat awarded the public telephone concession for 30 years to a new company called ANTEL

The new Entel was built last year. According to the CNR Business Registry, its legal representative is Edwin Núñez, president of ETESAL and Nuevas Ideas activist.

The General Superintendency of Electricity and Telecommunications (SIGATE) awarded the public telephony concession to the National Telecommunications Administration (Entel) S.A. de CV for a period of 30 years.

This was announced by Sigat through a publication on its official account starting on the same date.

“This is done in accordance with the provisions of Article 61 of the Telecommunications Law,” says Sigt.

According to information published by the National Registry Center (CNR), the company ANTEL SA de CV was registered in the Commercial Registry on April 13, 2023 as a Salvadoran company with domicile in San Salvador and a capital of $2,000.00.

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Edwin Patricio Núñez Alguera appears as the legal representative of ANTEL, who serves as president of the Transmission Company of El Salvador (ETESAL) and who identifies himself on social networks as a “messenger” of the Nuevas Ideas party. Are.

ETESAL is one of the founding companies of Chivo, Sociedad Anónima de Capital Variable, which manages the application of the same name and which was launched in September 2021 by the government of Nayib Bukele to enable Salvadorans to interact with Bitcoin after its entry Can do transactions. Applicable as legal tender.

Núñez was also a councilor in the San Salvador mayor’s office during the period in which Bukele served as mayor of the capital.

According to the CNR document, ANTEL SA de CV aims to develop activities related to telecommunications and national and international connectivity, including: designing, building, managing, maintaining and operating telecommunications networks, in addition to the country To handle traffic both in and out of the city. ,

The firm can buy and sell “all forms of property, rights or social participation in both national and foreign companies”, as well as promote and develop commercial companies. Additionally, it can represent foreign companies both inside and outside the country.

Another of its functions is the distribution and sale of services; To import and sell machinery relevant to its purpose; In addition to participating in all types of investment and trading activities authorized by law.

The new ANTEL was created with the same name as the defunct National Telecommunications Administration, which operated in the country before the privatization of telecommunications in 1998 during the administration of former President Armando Calderón Sol, and gave way to enter the market. France-Telecom and Telefónica de España.

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Little clarity in its operation

For economist Rafael Lemus, looking at SIGNET’s announcement, many doubts arise about how the new ANTEL will operate and what the added value of the state company will be in relation to international competitors already operating in the country.

“Only a concession matters because to be a telephone service operator you have to demonstrate many competencies, such as technology, having capital. Those who provide these services are mostly telecommunications multinationals, so a public company Let alone competing against one of those private multinationals who have the technology, it still feels strange,” he says.

Economists highlight that many questions also arise around this fact, especially due to the lack of clarity regarding the way the new company will operate and especially the services it will provide.

He added, “Questions arise such as: Where will these technological resources come from? Who will be the suppliers? How will they compete with multinationals?”

The professional goes further and observes with concern that behind the scenes there is a desire to remove concessions from private companies already operating in the country. “(That) would be devastating,” he says.

Lemus highlighted that telecommunications in El Salvador have high-value services, which leads us to ask what added value the state can deliver to the country through a public telecommunications company to gain market share. going?

In his opinion, it would be better to encourage more companies to come up with other technologies and this could benefit the local market. “(What’s happening) is curious because it points more to the fact that they want to grab a piece of that pie from the government, managing a public company.”

And he adds: “They are public funds that are being used, but what is the benefit for the population, because they are going to compete with private ones; what is the added value. I think they would rather go The government is threatening private companies for market share and is trying to drive them out.

Lemus envisions a scenario with “binding government quotas” in which all state companies enter into contracts with the public and where people are directed to act in the same way, which in his opinion translates into “unfair competition”. It happens.

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