Claro, Ecuador’s leading mobile network operator (MNO) by subscribers, intends to invest around USD500 million over the next three years in order to expand 4G network coverage and acquire new spectrum being sold later this year, reports TeleSemana citing comments made to Reuters by America Movil CEO Daniel Hajj Aboumrad. Ecuador plans to auction spectrum in the 700MHz and 2.5GHz bands in November while an auction of frequencies in the 3.5GHz band is scheduled for August 2020. In addition to enhancing its 4G network footprint, the executive also revealed Claro plans to begin 5G testing in Quito and Guayaquil.
America Movil, which operates in Ecuador under the Claro brand, expects to increase its 4G network coverage to 85% by the end of the year, up from an estimated 70% at the beginning of 2019. Claro currently has 8.3 million subscribers, although only a third are 4G subscribers – lower than the 53% LTE penetration rate enjoyed by Movistar and far short of the 87% rate boasted by Corporacion Nacional de Telecomunicaciones (CNT).