Nicaragua's telecommunications system, like the rest of
infrastructure, is outdated and suffers from lack of
The backbone of the telecommunications system is the
American Microwave System (CAMS), a 960-channel
system that extends from Mexico to Panama. Low-capacity
radiorelay and wire lines branch off the CAMS to provide
smaller towns. In 1993 there were approximately 60,000
telephones, only 1.5 per 100 inhabitants. Although the
telephones increased by about 10 percent per year during
1970s, that increased number did not begin to meet demand.
telephones have been installed since 1979.
When the CAMS was installed in the 1970s, planners
that all international telecommunications would travel
CAMS to satellite ground stations in Guatemala and Panama.
However, planners of the system failed to take political
realities into account. Whenever disputes arose among the
countries of Central America, a common tactic was for one
government to shut down the CAMS "for maintenance,"
isolating the other four countries on the isthmus from the
outside world. Each country in Central America then built
satellite ground station in the 1980s to assure continuous
communications. In 1993 Nicaragua had two satellite ground
stations, one operating with the International
Satellite Corporation's (Intelsat) Atlantic Ocean
the other a part of the former Soviet Union's Intersputnik
Radio broadcast services reach all parts of the country
include forty-five mostly privately owned amplitude
(AM) medium-wave stations and three AM shortwave stations
broadcasts to remote areas in the Caribbean lowlands.
also has eleven frequency modulation (FM) radio stations.
towns have television stations. In 1993 there were
880,000 radio receivers and 210,000 television sets.
Data as of December 1993