The Business Year

Oswaldo Tamarí­z Valdiviezo

ECUADOR - Telecoms & IT

A Step in Time

General Manager, Etapa EP


"Ecuador still needs to further capitalize on the potential of the 3G network and its technology before eyeing 4G."

What role does Ecuador play in Telefónica’s global operations?

Ecuador is a market of operations that officially became part of Grupo Telefónica in 2005, when we launched Movistar in the country. At the moment, Ecuador represents a very small market for the company. However, we have developed a very clear model for operations, and our results are an impressive benchmark for other regional markets. Therefore, the work done by the Ecuadorean team is highly recognized within the company. Today, we employ around 1,300 people in Ecuador.

What are some of the latest technological advancements that the company plans to introduce into the market?

There are two key attributes that differentiate Telefónica from its main competitors: technological innovation and excellence in customer service. These are the pillars of our operations everywhere and the basis of our competitiveness. Not long ago, the group underwent a restructuring process. Today, all of our operations in Latin America are part of the same geographical segment of operations. In this regard, the group also established Telefónica Digital, which channels all the creative capacity of the group that was previously dispersed throughout the many markets in which we operate. Our aim is not to become a commodity in the industry, and that is a differentiating point for us. Therefore, Telefónica seeks to provide value-added services to our customers with no need for third parties. At the end of the day, we are the ones who heavily invest in the network and services. For this reason, we will further deepen our innovation levels in these value-added services.

“Ecuador still needs to further capitalize on the potential of the 3G network and its technology before eyeing 4G.”

What is the potential for LTE and 4G technology to catch on in a market like Ecuador?

The main decision is to take each step at the right time. In my personal opinion, Ecuador still needs to further capitalize on the potential of the 3G network and its technology before eyeing 4G. At the moment, the penetration of mobile internet stands at around 10%, and for that single reason, 4G does not make much sense for this market. In this regard, I believe that we should focus on investing resources in the expansion of 3G and its services in the next few years, as that would lay the foundations for future developments, among them the implementation of 4G. It would be much better to focus on providing 3G services to the entire country, rather than just implementing 4G in Quito and Guayaquil, cities that are always leading the technological advancements in Ecuador. Telefónica prioritizes the first option, and in this regard we need to be granted a broader spectrum in order to offer even better services to our customers.

How would the undersea cable, which is planned to be operative in 2014, impact the operations of Telefónica Ecuador?

Since it is a wholesale business, its impact on our operations will not be different from the impact on other market operators. The undersea cable will definitely increase the flow of international data traffic, something very important for the country. It will also reduce costs and improve services.

© The Business Year – April 2013



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