Porta Celular’s legal representative, David Bernal, has told Dow Jones Newswires that the cellco wants to renew its concession in Ecuador for a further 15 years. ‘There are advances in the negotiations, but there are also pending issues. The conversations are progressing. We have a lot of interest in remaining in the country and to extend our contract for 15 years, but there are some pending topics,’ Bernal said.
On 18 February the National Telecommunications Secretariat (Senatel) gave the America Movil-owned operator a new contract model to extend its concession beyond the current expiry date of August 2008. Dow Jones reports that according to Senatel sources, the cost for Porta’s new concession could be around USD450 million, because it is the country’s largest wireless operator by subscribers. Jaime Guerrero, Senatel’s chief, said he hopes to finish the negotiations with Porta Celular by next week and with second largest cellco Movistar by the end of April. Movistar’s licence is due to expire in November 2008.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, Porta claimed a 68.2% share of the subscriber market at the end of 2007, followed by Movistar with 27.4% and state-owned Telecsa (Alegro) bringing up the rear on 4.3%. For more information on the GlobalComms database, visit: