Shake-up for telecoms sector on horizon

6 Aug 2008

Jorge Glass, president of Ecuador’s Fondo de Solidaridad (Solidarity Fund – an autonomous public body) has announced that the country’s two main fixed line telcos, Andinatel and Pacifíctel, and state-run cellco Telecsa (Alegro), will be integrated in a single company under a plan to be implemented in the near future, reports Telesemana.com. The two regional PSTN operators are currently both wholly owned by the Fondo de Solidaridad, whilst mobile operator Telecsa is wholly owned by Andinatel. The announcement was made at a presentation of the country’s Plan of Connectivity 2008-2010, which was approved by President Rafael Correa. The plan is aimed at improving competitiveness of the state-owned operations, expanding access to the internet and promoting ‘social inclusion’. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, struggling CDMA-based operator Telecsa began leasing GSM network capacity from its larger rival Movistar in late 2007 as a cheaper alternative to rolling out its own network overlay.

In related news, reported by BNamericas quoting local press, President Correa has given the green light for the creation of Ecuador’s unified telecommunications ministry. The new ministry will encompass current functions of the country’s telecoms council Conatel, telecoms regulator Senatel and telecoms supervisory body Supertel.