Telefonica subsidiary Movistar Ecuador has expanded its commercial 4G LTE network to the country’s largest city Guayaquil, following its initial launch of the high speed mobile service in the capital Quito in May 2015. Movistar’s local website announcement says that users can access the LTE network at no additional cost, on existing data tariffs, providing they have a compatible device, with the cellco currently offering 24 4G models including smartphones, tablets and Mi-Fi routers. Movistar confirms it is currently offering LTE coverage in the 1900MHz (‘band 2’) frequency range, while it is expected to augment services with AWS (1700MHz/2100MHz) spectrum in due course. TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that in February 2015 Movistar was awarded eight-year concessions for a total of 50MHz bandwidth in the AWS (2×20MHz) and 1900MHz (2×5MHz) bands, costing USD150 million, boosting its total spectrum allocation from 35MHz to 85MHz. The Spanish-owned cellco was the second player in the market to offer 4G, after state-backed CNT launched LTE in December 2013, whilst in late-July 2015 America Movil-backed Claro Ecuador also joined the LTE market.
Movistar Ecuador’s latest announcement also noted that it has upgraded its 3G HSPA+ network cities including Quito, Guayaquil, Cuenca, Ambato, among others, assisted by its increased spectrum bandwidth. Telefonica says Movistar Ecuador is investing around USD150 million in the deployment of 3G and 4G networks this year. It promised to invest at least USD800 million in its 4G network rollout over five years (2015-19).