Ecuador Telecoms Market Report

Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

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Publication Date: July 2024

Report Pages: 171

Ecuador reduces or eliminates several taxes to improve investment in telecoms

In common with several other mid-sized countries in the region, Ecuador has a small telecom market dominated by the mobile sector. The evolution of the market has been influenced by the poor fixed-line infrastructure, which has stymied the development of fixed-line broadband services. To some extent poor infrastructure has been the result of topographical challenges which have rendered the cost of deploying networks to remote and mountainous areas prohibitive.

Although Ecuador has several fixed-line operators and a large number of ISPs, the state-owned incumbent CNT leads the fixed-line market, and thus also the fixed broadband market. However, CNT’s share of the fixed-line market is dwindling year by year, while its share of fixed internet connections has fallen below 24%.

The mobile sector is shared by América Móvil’s Conecel (trading as Claro), Telefónica’s Otecel (trading as Movistar), and CNT (previously Telecsa/Alegro). As of May 2022, Claro had a 51.6% share of subscribers, while Movistar had a 31.3% share, and CNT had a 17.1% share.

Thus far the MVNO sector has been slow to develop, partly because the incumbent operators also have their low-cost brands and thus there is little business case for new market entrants.

The government is keen to advance universalisation and improve teledensity. To this end, several taxes on telecom services have been eliminated or reduced by half. From 2022, additional revenue previously allocated to the Treasury from these taxes will be earmarked for programs aimed at expanding the reach of internet and mobile services in rural areas of the country.

Unlike most countries in the region, Ecuador lacks a national 5G roadmap. Thus far, the mobile operators have conducted several 5G pilots, but no progress has been made on allocation spectrum for 5G, or on developing strategies to encourage investment in the sector.

Key developments:

  • Roaming charges between Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru are ended;
  • Contract is signed to build the 4,500km CSN-1 cable running between Ecuador, Panama, Colombia, and Florida;
  • CNT selects Nokia to modernise existing LTE infrastructure and install a 5G non standalone (NSA) network;
  • Reforms are passed amending several taxes on telecom services;
  • Report update includes the regulator’s market data to May 2022, telcos’ operating data to Q1 2022, updated Telecom Maturity Index charts and analyses, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

Corporacion Nacional de Telecomunicaciones (CNT), Nokia, BT Global Services, BT Group, Liberty Latin America (LLA), Etapa, TVCable (Suratel), Claro (Ecuador Telecom/Telmex), Linkotel, Etapa Telecom, Global Crossing, Grupo Coripar, Starsat, Ministry of Telecoms & Information Society (Mintel), Movistar, PuntoNet, Ecuanet/Megadatos. Easynet, Trans-telco, EmpresaEléctrica Regional Centrosur, Sencinet, Telxius, Tower One Wireless, Transelectric, Telconet

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