El Salvador Lags Behind in Mobile Communication

9.3 million mobile phone lines were registered at the end of 2015, but they are only able to operate on the 3G network as the 4G network has not even been put out to tender yet.

Monday, November 7, 2016

While the rest of the region has already made progress in the use of 4G technology, in El Salvador the process for awarding frequencies of that band between telecommunications companies has not yet even started. In the developed world they are now planning the implementation of 5G technology.

According to Natanael Ayala, senior manager at EY, a company that carried out a study on the development and implementation of technologies between 2005 and 2010, "... in the most developed economies they used to talk about the 3G network. From 2010 to 2015 they deployed the 4G band, while in El Salvador, during that period, 3G technology has remained. 'Countries such as Honduras have already tendered the 4G frequency, Nicaragua too. Its not that we are bad, but we are lagging behind in terms of technology. It reduces the benefits for us, the capacity that people could have had in accessing to services is going to be more limited'."

Elmundo.sv adds that "...The expert noted, citing statistics from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), that the spectrum allocated to telecom operators in the country is less than 16%, while the average for Latin America is 24.8%. Ayala warned that 'for companies to provide 4G we have to allocate more spectrum. The current spectrum is being used for current services'.  

In this regard, Sebastian Cabello, director of GSMA Latin America, said "...  By not tendering bands for 4G services, 'this results in investments being delayed, the user experience is degraded, and there is a delay in further democratization of ICT, and the implementation of public policies is difficult in relation to overcrowded internet services'."

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