|Issue:||Latin America 2007|
|Topic:||Telecommunications in Ecuador|
|Author:||Roque Hernández Luna|
|Title:||National Secretary of Telecommunications|
|Organisation:||Republic of Ecuador|
Ing. Roque Hern·ndez Luna is the Republic of Ecuadorís National Secretary of Telecommunications where, during his career at the National Telecommunications Secretariatís, SENATEL, he has also served as SENATELís Director for Ecuadorís Coastal and Insular Regions and as a Regional Supervisor of Telecommunications. In addition, Ing. Roque Hern·ndez Luna has been the Technical head and Provincial Operations Director for IETEL, EMETEL and Pacifictel ManabÌ. Ing. Roque Hern·ndez Luna has served as President of the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineers of ManabÌ, President of the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineers of Ecuador, Director of the School of Electrical Engineering of the Technical University of ManabÌ, President of the Commission of Telecommunications of the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineers of ManabÌ, Member of the Commission of Modernization of the Telecommunications of Ecuador, COMOTEL, President of the National Commission of Telecommunications of the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineers of Ecuador, and also a delegate representing Ecuador for the National Secretariat of Telecommunications at the second meeting of Permanent Consultative Committee II in San Salvador. Mr Roque Hern·ndez Luna graduated from the Electronic Institute of Telecommunications in Moscow as an engineer specialising in electronics and telecommunications. He also specialised in Telecommunications Law and Management at the SimÛn Bolivar Andean University and has taken other courses in Brazil, Russia and France.
The Ecuadorean Government, through its National Telecommunications Secretariat, SENATEL, has established a National Development Plan for Telecommunications for the years 2007 through 2012. The plan aims at building Ecuadorís telecommunications infrastructure by using the latest network technologies in order to provide access to all of Ecuadorís citizens. The advanced infrastructure will attract investors, facilitate economic development and make possible the development of e-commerce, e-education, and e-government and e-health programmes. Strong regulatory safeguards are needed for investors and users alike.
The National Telecommunications Secretariatís, SENATELís, National Development Plan for Telecommunications, NDPT, for the period 2007-2012 is based upon the policies of Ecuadorís Government and reflects its social concern and responsibility. It was created in compliance with the revised version of Ecuadorís Special Law for Telecommunications and the General Regulations currently in effect. The NDPT is a tool that will guide the actions of the government in its efforts to develop the countryís telecommunications sector. The NDPT aims to improve the usage of information and communication technologies, ICTs, in a harmonious, equitable and fair way to improve the well-being and quality of life of the Ecuadorian people. It establishes a framework to guide the policies and strategies aimed at efficiently and competently fulfilling Ecuadorís national mission and objectives for the telecommunications sector. The evolution of technology and markets, globalization and integration into the global Information Society, amongst other factors, requires that telecommunications in Ecuador are up to world levels. For this, clear policies, plans, projects and specific actions need to be implemented to strength the countryís diverse economic sectors and develop new sectors. We need to give especial priority to those sectors that can contribute most to improving the quality of life of our inhabitants and guaranteeing the harmonic development of our society. The adoption and adaptation to our environment of the new technologies according to the global trend is essential to optimize the use of such limited natural resources as the radio spectrum. Likewise, the adoption of new technologies would help greatly to optimize our infrastructure. Establishing partnerships between the private sector and the government will stimulate the convergence of services, the implementation of next-generation networks, NGNs, and increase the investment in run-down areas of the country. The development of a society in which information and communications technologies play an important role, is a critical step towards improving the quality of life and the standard of living of the citizen. The NDPT establishes a frame of reference for the development and the use of ICTs that will move our country along the path to full participation in the Information Society. The NDPT is aimed at creating new paradigms, new ways of achieving an equitable, fair and supportive society. The strategies of the NDPT are directed towards the harmonic development of all sectors of Ecuadorís society, especially the less well served. The NDPT will set the development trends of our society. In this way, it will drive the development of new technologies and next-generation networks, especially: IP networks; connection to submarine cables; development of optical fibre rings in all geographical regions and provinces of our country; fibre to the home, FTTH; metropolitan optical networks; high definition TV, HDTV; next-generation networks, NGN; WiMAX; IPTV; broadband Internet; voice over IP; open source software; electronic commerce and e-government; and, strengthening the national Network Access Point, NAP. The plan calls for the promotion and development of national broadband networks throughout the country. Fibre optic-based, high-capacity networks known as ëinformation highwaysí – both at trunk and access levels – will foster the use of next-generation networks, promote the developing of new applications and content, and stimulate the creation of software that people can use to readily and securely access information, and which provides all the benefits of ICTs. Broadband is the future of telecommunications. We believe that it will be the key to our development because it encourages the creation of useful applications and appropriate content for the community, and fosters the demand of services. With time, by giving people access to broadband, even the most remote areas of the country will benefit greatly through access to world-class educational opportunities; and the ability to take advantage of the benefits of such technological developments as tele-working, tele-medicine and tele-education in their own communities. Additionally, to consolidate all these strategies, a strong and dynamic regulator is needed to establish the sort of clear and transparent policies that foster national development and provide adequate legal guarantees and safeguards for investors and users alike. This will facilitate the introduction of new technologies, high-quality services at reasonable prices, attract both national and international investors, and strengthen the ability of the government to reach and support the most depressed sectors of society.