The policy of the Telecommunications portfolio prioritizes the universal access of the population to ICT and for this the sector ensures that state incentives are required.
The tariff burden is one of the factors that must be overcome to universalize access to telephony and mobile internet services, according to the Minister of Telecommunications, Guillermo León.
“The universal access of the population to new communication technologies is restricted at the moment when, through tariffs, the cost of terminals (mobile phones) is increased, discouraging and slowing down access to better technology,” he said this Wednesday the Secretary of State, in the event of presentation of the Strategic Vision 2018 – 2021 of the Telecommunications Sector. In this sense, Minister León stressed the need for the articulation of a public policy to favor the reduction of tariff charges.
Francisco Balarezo, executive director of the Association of Internet Service Providers (Aeprovi), said that it is not feasible that cell phones entering the country have a tax of 15% for special consumption, when they are currently essential basic supplies for the development of society.
“A review must be made of the tax charges that have an impact. As an industry we believe that the priority is to have access to technologies because that moves the economy and reduces the digital gaps, in addition to improving the opportunities in the market, “said the official.
With this same criterion, the Association of Telecommunications Companies (Asetel) agrees, which considers necessary a public policy focused on eliminating specific taxes for public telecommunications services such as the tax on the exit of foreign currency (ISD), as well as the tax on special consumptions.
According to Asetel, access to telecommunications services is still restricted for the most vulnerable segments of the population.
Four axes make up the telecommunications vision until 2021
In order to strengthen the foundations of the sector and move towards the universalization of access to new information and communication technologies (ICT), the Ministry of the industry based its strategic vision until 2021 on four axes with a strong focus on the productive sector.
The first axis is connectivity, which seeks to promote the deployment of infrastructure to expand the coverage of telecommunications services in underserved areas and stimulate migration to high-speed networks.
Another axis is the orientation towards an electronic government that involves, among other things, the reduction of procedures and regulations.
The Ministry also values the security of information and the protection of personal data, and finally, as the fourth axis, there is economic development through digital transformation.
Promotion of connectivity
To promote connectivity, the regulation of concession rights and tariffs for the use of spectrum will be updated, as well as the promotion of regulatory incentives and the reduction of tax charges to terminals.
66 percent is the goal for the population penetration of smartphones until 2021.
One of the goals of the sectoral strategic vision is for Ecuador to be recognized in 2021 as a regional reference. (I)