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Mobile Broadband Positioned to Meet Unmet Demand in Ecuador

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Operators in Ecuador are aggressively expanding their 3.5G HSPA coverage because they are all looking to mobile broadband as a way to sustain future growth, according to a new report from Pyramid Research..

Ecuador's telecommunications market is one of extremes. The country's highly penetrated mobile market boasted a 107 percent mobile subscription rate at year-end 2010, while the fixed market remains at 14.5 percent narrowband penetration unfavorably with the Latin American average of 16.7 percent, notes Eulalia Marin-Sorribes, Analyst at Pyramid Research. Ecuador's broadband penetration is only 2.7 percent, less than half of the regional average of 7.2 percent, she adds.

"Though under penetrated fixed, broadband and pay-TV markets might suggest faster growth rates, a sometimes complicated regulatory environment - as evidenced by the 2008 renewal of Porta and Movistar's cellular licenses - as well as limited competition, will maintain the growth rates at modest levels," she says.

"Given Ecuador's relatively low fixed broadband penetration, operators see mobile broadband as the primary vehicle for meeting unmet demand for broadband connectivity in Ecuador," indicates Marin-Sorribes. Due to the limited coverage, low connection speeds and high tariffs Pyramid believes that mobile operators will take the bulk of the traditionally fixed broadband opportunity in Ecuador. "Porta, Movistar and Alegro are all actively pushing their mobile broadband platforms as an alternative to fixed broadband," indicates Marin-Sorribes.

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Tags: hspa  porta  movistar  Ecuador