Spanish telecoms giant Telefonica, operating in Ecuador under the Movistar brand, has launched its Tuenti Movil sub-brand in the country, the fifth market for Tuenti following previous launches in Spain, Mexico, Argentina and Peru. Tuenti functions as a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) with its own number prefix, SIM cards, service packages/value added services, website and sales channels, although it is owned by its mobile network operator (MNO) host. A launch event was held in Puerto Santa Ana, Guayaquil on 29 May.
Telefonica Ecuador adds in a statement on its website that Tuenti has ‘its own platform, facilities, technical and human resources, brand and defined identity’, with its initial offering focusing on three tiers of pre-paid package, all of which feature unlimited WhatsApp and Facebook usage, plus varying volumes of inclusive data, call minutes and SMS. A seven-day USD5 package comes with 100MB, 15 minutes and 15 SMS; a 15-day USD10 package includes 200MB, 30 minutes and 30 SMS; the top-tier USD15 plan includes 400MB, 60 minutes and 60 SMS with a month’s validity. SIMs and recharges for Tuenti services can be purchased at chain drugstores, supermarkets, appliance stores, gas stations, Western Union points and other convenience stores nationwide in Ecuador or through the brand’s website.
TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that there are currently no independent MVNOs in Ecuador, and while Tuenti is the first MVNO (sub-) brand to launch, Movistar Ecuador technically already hosts an existing MVNO as state-owned Corporacion Nacional de Telecomunicaciones (CNT) provides 2G GSM services over the Spanish-owned cellco’s network (alongside CNT’s own infrastructure-based 3G and 4G LTE services). Movistar Ecuador itself began offering 4G LTE services in the capital, Quito, last month, augmenting its existing 2G/3G networks.