Municipally-owned telco ETAPA (Public Company for Telecoms, Water Supply and Sewerage), which serves Cuenca in southern Ecuador with fixed broadband and telephony services, has stated that it aims to apply for 4G LTE wireless broadband frequencies, reports TeleSemana, citing CEO Ivan Palacios whose statement was released in newspaper El Mercurio. The CEO said that in two months market studies will be commissioned to ‘identify the commercial scenario’, while he pointed out that the company is self-sustaining and does not rely on handouts from Cuenca’s municipal budget nor central government funding. TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that ETAPA previously offered CDMA-based mobile services in Cuenca under the name ETAPAmovil in partnership with state-owned National Telecommunications Corporation (CNT), although ETAPAmovil subscribers were counted as part of CNT’s national mobile user base, while CNT’s CDMA networks were closed down in October 2014 in favour of LTE development. CNT is currently the sole 4G LTE mobile operator in Ecuador although commercial launches are expected this quarter from larger cellular rivals Claro and Movistar which recently negotiated 4G licensing terms with the government. A prospective regional LTE venture from ETAPA could be based on TD-LTE technology.