Private operators on verge of 4G agreement in Ecuador

DetailsJuan Fernandez Gonzalez | 26 January 2015

With the public telco Corporación Nacional de Telecomunicaciones (CNT) offering LTE connections since 2013, Ecuador says it is now ready to open 4G networks to Claro and Movistar, a move which will increase both coverage and accessibility and power mobile video broadcasting and TV everywhere services across the country.

According to the Minister for Telecommunications, Augusto Espín, in an interview with newspaper El Comercio, the Government and both telcos have been negotiating and have now reached a final agreement. Although prices and investment amounts have not been disclosed, the country's telecom authority, Conatel will now analyse and decide whether to green light the deal.

"There have been meetings at every level, including political and technical - it has been a continuous process since we started," said Espín during the interview.

According to the Minister, the final cost to and amount invested by the private telcos were the most difficult points to agree upon. Following a recent report by the GSMA, an investment of over $1,100 million was said to be needed in Ecuador in order to offer stable LTE coverage throughout the whole country.

The country welcomed LTE technology in November 2013, but users are mostly using 3G and even 2G, with only 2% of the over 15 million mobile users connecting through CNT's 4G.