Ecuador’s minister of telecommunications Jaime Guerrero says he has reached an agreement with the country’s largest cell phone service providers for use of the 4G cell phone and Internet network.
The installation work for the network is underway and the service should be available in Cuenca and Loja by mid-year, according to Guerrero.
Movistar and Claro, with more than 95% of the cell market share, will join the small government-owned telcom CNT, in offering 4G.
Guerrero says the move from 3G to 4G is like “going from a two-lane country road to a 10-lane freeway” in terms of Internet speed. “It’s 10 times faster 3G and will bring Ecuador on par with other technologically advanced South American countries.
In addition to the usual voice and basic Internet services offered by 3G, 4G provides mobile broadband Internet access for laptop computers with wireless modems, to smartphones, and to other mobile devices. Potential and current applications include amended mobile web access, IP telephony, gaming services, high-definition mobile TV, video conferencing, 3D television, and cloud computing.
4G can also access complex applications in such fields as telemedicine, which connects doctors and patients from remote locations. It also improves digital process efficiency in business and manufacturing.
Guerrero said that the introduction of 4G will also improve the service of existing 3G networks.
CNT began installed 4G equipment in Quito, Manta and Ambato and Guayaquil in 2014 and will lease services to Movistar and Claro. Neither Movistar or Claro have announced a start date for 4G service.