Venezuelan incumbent telco CANTV will ‘at least double’ the speed of its internet services, both fixed and mobile, in the short term, according to Manuel Fernandez, Minister for Higher Education, Science and Technology, reports TeleSemana citing comments from the minister quoted in newspaper Correo del Orinoco. Current broadband speeds averaging ‘around 1.7Mbps’ will be significantly improved both for CANTV’s ADSL network and cellular mobile services provided by its subsidiary Movilnet, the official indicated. Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro recently approved the allocation of resources to implement the network upgrades as a result of meetings in China with representatives of technology giant ZTE Corp, among others. TeleGeography notes that Movilnet won AWS (1700MHz/2100MHz) and 2600MHz wireless spectrum in December 2014 under 4G mobile licences stipulating coverage of Venezuela’s 20 most populous municipalities in the first year, and a footprint encompassing at least 70% of the population by end-2018. That month Mr Fernandez, formerly CANTV president, said that the cellular division was targeting deployment of 664 4G LTE base stations nationwide within a year, as it gears up to join mobile rivals Digitel and Movistar which have already launched LTE services (the latter most recently in February 2015).