Porta to invest US$180mn this year, expects to test LTE

Friday, February 18, 2011

Ecuadorian mobile telephony operator Porta expects capex this year to reach some US$180mn, 45% higher than total investment for 2010, according to company president Alfredo Escobar.

Most of this year's capex will go to expanding coverage, Dow Jones quoted the executive as saying.

Escobar also confirmed that the operator will conduct LTE tests during 2011.

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Porta recorded revenues of some US$1.27bn last year, climbing 10% compared with 2009.

The operator, fully controlled by Mexican giant América Móvil (NYSE: AMX), will start operating under the Claro brand in the second quarter of this year.

Porta is by far the leader in the local mobile telephony market, with 10.4mn subscribers at end-2010, giving it a market share of roughly 70%, according to data from Ecuadorian telecoms supervisory body Supertel.

In August 2008, Porta signed a 15-year concession contract with the government, enabling the telco to launch 3G services.