CNT's CDMA mobile services switched off, in favour of LTE

29 Oct 2014

Ecuador’s National Telecommunications Council (Conatel) disclosed that as of 25 October 2014 CDMA mobile phones have ceased to be supported by the country’s last remaining CDMA network operator, state-owned Corporacion Nacional de Telecomunicaciones (CNT). Conatel recorded that up until the switch-off there were 16,400 users still using the CDMA network. These users will be allowed a 30-day period to migrate their CDMA phone number to another network, after which unclaimed numbers will be cancelled, Conatel added in a statement reported by local news source ElComercio. It is assumed, although not immediately confirmed, that the CDMA mobile voice network shutdown also includes internet/data services (based on CDMA2000 1xEV-DO Rev A), while on the other hand it is assumed that some fixed-wireless CDMA services (including CDMA-450 connections) will continue to be operated by CNT. TeleGeography says that the full-service telco is focusing on expanding its 4G LTE mobile services, of which it is Ecuador’s sole provider, having launched its commercial LTE network in Q1 2014, although not introducing LTE handset packages until late-August 2014. Auxiliary telecoms agency Supertel reports that CNT’s number of LTE subscribers more than doubled in September 2014 to 11,700 (while the bulk of its 686,000 total mobile users were on its 3G W-CDMA/HSPA+ network at that date). Ecuador’s government expects to issue LTE concessions to CNT’s rivals, foreign-owned mobile operators Claro and Movistar, by the end of this year, deputy telecoms minister Alvaro Armijos was quoted as saying earlier this month, as negotiations which began in the summer drag on.