The general manager of Ecuadorian state-owned cellco Alegro PCS, Augusto Espin, says that its search for a strategic partner could be over in a matter of days, reports BNamericas citing local press. The struggling company previously identified Uruguay’s state-owned operator Antel, Venezuelan government-run cellco Movilnet and Indonesia’s Telkom as potential partners to help improve its mobile voice and data service services, after being threatened with privatisation if it did not turn its business around. Espin claims that Alegro has improved its financial performance during the last month, whilst it has cut tariffs by 20% to be more competitive, and added that the expected strategic partnership would ‘guarantee’ growth in the coming years. Alegro has a commercial agreement with larger rival Movistar, through which the state-owned firm rents GSM infrastructure alongside its own CDMA network. Alegro had 565,000 subscribers at end-June 2009 (34% GSM and the rest CDMA-based), down from 637,000 a year earlier, but an improvement from 303,000 at the beginning of 2009.