Mintel to grant temporary spectrum during COVID-19 crisis

28 May 2020

Ecuador’s Ministry of Telecommunications & Information Society (Mintel) has announced several measures intended to improve internet access in 369 underserved parishes during the COVID-19 pandemic. The eight resolutions included in Ministerial Agreement 012-2020, promulgated on 26 May, include plans to temporarily allocate mobile spectrum for twelve months to ‘improve service capacity and quality’, following a 40% increase in data traffic since the start of the health crisis. Telecoms regulator ARCOTEL has been tasked with ensuring telcos accessing these additional frequencies improve service coverage. Other measures include simplifying procedures for granting licences to small ISPs, implementing cheaper tariffs, enabling the installation of shared infrastructure on government property, and steps to facilitate the importation and approval of telecoms equipment. Additional free Wi-Fi hotspots powered by the networks of universities, government offices and other public sector institutions will also be established.