Ecuadorian telecoms authority Senatel began negotiations to renew the licences of mobile operators Conecel (Porta Celular) and Movistar Ecuador on 27 December, local newspaper La Hora reported. The concession of Porta, owned by Mexico’s America Movil, expires in August this year whilst that of Movistar, owned by Spain’s Telefonica, runs out in November. Key negotiations will centre on the protection of consumer rights, call tariff limits and concession fees, whilst the duration of the renewal period will also be debated; the operators are seeking an additional 15 years while the state has offered ten-year permits. The government is also likely to include rural coverage obligations as a clause of the new contracts.
In related news, Ecuador’s government last month mandated that public organisations should exclusively use state-run cellco Telecsa (Alegro) for their mobile services, whilst regulatory body Suptel told Porta that it must seek authorisation before going ahead with plans to launch a 3G W-CDMA network.