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Ecuador Suspends Exclusive Tower Lease Agreements

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Ecuador's anti monopoly watchdog has ordered the mobile networks to scrap any exclusivity clauses they signed on a large number of their base station towers and open up the infrastructure to competitors.

Around 2,000 towers are affected by the ruling, which the Superintendency for Control of Market Power said was aimed at improving competition in the market.

The mobile networks often sign exclusive rental agreements with landlords forbidding them from leasing space on towers to rival networks. The watchdog said those agreements were illegal.

The head of the watchdog, Pedro Paez, said that the ruling "suspends exclusivity in contracts, because they are against the law, in the distribution of certain specific geographic points that will allow the installation of antennas and other devices, with the purpose of improving the national coverage of all operators,"

The move is being seen as primarily benefiting the smaller state-owned mobile network at the expense of the private operators, America Movil and Telefonica.

On the web: Bloomberg

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Tags: Ecuador