Ecuador - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses
Ecuador's MVNO market showing promise
In common with a number of other mid-sized countries in the region, Ecuador has a small telecom market influenced by poor fixed-line infrastructure. This has resulted in low fixed-line teledensity and a consequent focus on mobile infrastructure for voice and data services. To some extent poor infrastructure has been the result of topographical challenges which have rendered the cost of deploying networks to n remote and mountainous areas prohibitive. However, there has also been a legacy of underinvestment in telecoms infrastructure as a whole.
Although Ecuador has seven fixed-line operators and a large number of Internet Service Providers (ISPs), the state-owned incumbent CNT dominates the fixed-line market, and thus also the DSL broadband market.
The mobile sector is virtually a duopoly between América Móvil's Conecel (trading as Claro) and Telefónica's Otecel (trading as Movistar), with CNT (previously Telecsa/Alegro) having a small share of the market. Thus far the MVNO sector has been slow to develop, with only the incumbent operators having their low-cost brands. However, by the end of 2017 it is expected that Virgin Mobile will have launched its service in Ecuador, following on from similar launches in neighbouring countries.
The government is keen to advance universalisation and improve teledensity, and it is expected that CNT will continue its efforts to expand the country's fixed-line infrastructure and capitalise on its DSL service, which only took off in 2009. At the same time, a national broadband plan has been implemented to expand and improve internet access for all Ecuadoreans. The fixed broadband market including DSL, cable modem and fibre-based services should continue to grow strongly in coming years, with an anticipated focus on fibre as networks are built out from the more densely populated urban areas. The mobile broadband market is also expected to grow strongly as network operators expand the reach of their LTE services.
A new Telecom Law has been the subject of national and international controversy, particularly for its treatment of broadcasting. The most controversial points include the redistribution of spectrum and the creation of a regulatory authority in charge of censorship.
Movistar extends LTE service to ten cities; Tribemobile Ecuador Tribemosa expected to launch services as an MVNO by end-2017; Arcotel assumes role as integrated telecom sector regulator; CNT expands reach of 1Gb/s fibre network; government promotes its National Plan for Good Living 2013-2017 for socio-economic development; ASO completion delayed to mid-2018; report update includes the regulator's market data to August 2017, telcos' operating data, recent market developments.
Companies mentioned in this report:
CNT, Etapa, TVCable (Suratel), Claro (Ecuador Telecom/Telmex), Linkotel, Etapa Telecom, Global Crossing, Grupo Coripar, Starsat, Movistar, PuntoNet, Ecuanet/Megadatos. Easynet, Trans-telco, Empresa Eléctrica Regional Centrosur, Transelectric, Telconet, DirecTV, TVCable, Univisa.