Ecuador has three network operators:
The first MVNO is called Tuenti on Movistar and Virgin Mobile is announced to launch later in 2017.
2G and 3G is on 850 MHz on Claro and Movistar and on 1900 Mhz on CNT.
4G/LTE has started on 700 MHz (Band 28) and 1700/2100 MHz (AWS Band 4) on CNT, on 1900 MHz (Band 2) on Movistar in Quito only and on 1700 MHz AWS (Band 4) on Claro too.
By law you have to be an Ecuadorian citizen to buy a SIM card. In practice it's easy to find a store that will activate it in someone else’s name, and then transfer it to you a few days later. The store will still want identification however, so bring your passport.
Prices in Ecuador are in US$, a 12% VAT applies.
Claro (aka Conecel)Edit
Claro (Conecel) by América Móvil is the market leader in Ecuador with 2/3 of all mobile customers. It has the best coverage especially in remote areas. 4G/LTE has started in 2015 in Guayaquil, Quito, Cumbayá and Sangoloquí (more info) and is rolled out in other regions available for prepaid.
Their prepaid SIM card is available in their stores (store locator) in triple size. Starter packs come as:
- regular voice and data SIM for $7 with $3 credit, free WhatsApp and 90 MB data
- as "Prepaid Banda Ancha Móvil" (BAM = Mobile Broadband) SIM for $15 with 500 MB included.
Top-up there or at many supermarkets and pharmacies for $3, 5, 6, 10, 20, 30. To check balance dial *102#. Also, the site https://claro.mobilerecharge.com can be used (at additional cost) as in other countries.
Data feature packsEdit
These packages can be loaded on all SIM cards:
|$ 1||1 day||30 MB||30 on-net mins, unlimited all-net SMS|
|$ 3||3 days||200 MB||30 MB WA, 70 MB FB, unlimited all-net mins and SMS|
|$ 6||6 days||400 MB||60 MB WA, 140 MB FB, unlimited all-net mins and SMS|
Additional data is $ 0.228 per MB. You can order any of the packs by dialing *123#. You can buy as much packets as you like, one by one, packages will be combined. Extra volumes are for WhatsApp (WA) and Facebook (RB) use.
To check data balance dial *123# -> Consulta de Saldos -> Saldo Datos -> Internet Móvil.
If your chip isn't activated (e.g. you try to register on http://www.miclaro.com.ec and it tells you the number isn't activated), you should call another person on the claro network from your phone. This will activate the chip.
- APN: internet.claro.com.ec
- Website in Spanish: http://www.claro.com.ec
Movistar is the 2nd network in the country, giving even better speeds in the cities, but a lower coverage: coverage checker outside. 4G/LTE is open for prepaid and available in Guayaquil, Salinas Quito, Cuenca, Azogues, Ambato and Tonsupa in 2016.
Their prepaid SIM card called SuperChip Prepago is available in their stores (store finder) . Top-up there or at many supermarkets for $2, 3, 6, 10, 15, 30. Starter packs comes as regular voice and data SIM for $5 with weekly package included.
They heavily market their weekly combo package called Combo semanal with 200 MB, 20 dom. mins and 20 dom. SMS for $ 3 per week. This plan can only be added by 50 MB for 1 day at $ 1 and 100 MB for 3 days at $ 2.
Data feature packsEdit
Data outside of packages are $0.56 per MB. Default tariff is a daily pack of 15 MB at $ 0.50. These data packs can be added:
|Internet Diario||$ 1||30 MB||1 day||DIA|
|Internet 2 días||$ 2||60 MB||2 days||DOS|
|Internet 3 días||$ 3||100 MB||3 days||TRES|
|Internet 7 dias||$ 7||200 MB||7 days||7|
|Internet 15 días||$ 10||500 MB||15 days||15|
|Internet 30 días||$ 20||1 GB||30 days||i30|
Activation by texting the code to 333. Max. speed is 2 Mbps. Only the monthly pack auto-renews.
Tourist SIM Edit
Movistar sells a special SIM with 2 GB of data aimed at tourists visiting the country. In addition to data, the SIM comes with 500 MB of WhatsApp data, 50 minutes of domestic calls, 50 minutes of international calls to the US, Canada, Spain, Colombia and Peru, as well as 500 SMS to all national destinations for $ 25 (plus 14% taxes). All for a duration of 30 days. It's available at Quito and Guayaquil airports only.
- APN: internet.movistar.com.ec
- Username and password: movistar
- Website in Spanish: http://www.movistar.com.ec
CNT for Corporación Nacional de Telecomunicaciones is the public provider in Ecuador. They focus mainly on ADSL and landline phone connections. It has a mobile network too, but this is rather limited in coverage. So check before: coverage map. 4G/LTE is open for prepaid and gives the best speeds in cities of all operators in the country.
Their SIM card is available at their stores (store locator) for $4.56 (tax incl.) with $4 credit. Top-ups can be made there or other outlets like gas stations or supermarkets for $ 3, 6, 10 or 15. Top-ups of at least $10 receive free WhatsApp use.
Data feature package Edit
These packages can be booked on the SIM (tax incl.):
- 50 MB for 1 day: $ 1.01 - for activation text 'DIA' to 8000
- 300 MB for 30 days: $ 5.08 - for activation text 'PROMO' to 8000
All packages can be booked multiple times.
Tourist Offer Edit
They offer an exclusive "Chip Turista" with preactivated SIM card on 2G/3G/HSPA+ only including $3.00 talk time, valid for a maximum of 30 days. This plan is only for foreigners and they must present a passport or ID.
- US$ 22.80 (tax incl.) : 500 MB for 30 days plus $ 3 talktime
- US$ 28.50 (tax incl.): 1 GB for 30 days plus $ 3 talktime, free Facebook and WhatsApp
More information Edit
- APN: internet3gsp.alegro.net.ec
- APN: internet.cnt.net.ec
- Website in Spanish: http://www.cnt.gob.ec
Tuenti is the first MVNO in Ecuador and started in 2015 on the Movistar network (for coverage see above). They focus mainly on the urban youth. In 2016 4G/LTE was opened to all their plans. You should combined it with their Tuenti app for free VoIP calls and SIM management.
SIM cards and top-ups are available nationwide on supermarkets, drugstores, gas stations. The starter kit called chip tuenti costs $ 5 (tax included) in supermarkets and service stations. It includes 750 MB, WhatsApp use, 15 min domestic voice, 50 dom. SMS, 15 mins of VozDigital (VoIP). If you have problems registering on a foreign passport, contact them via Facebook or Twitter. For activation call *777.
Top-up cards are sold for $5, $10, and $15 in their outlets, by app or online. Check balance by *777#.
Arriving on Quito you can buy a SIM card just as you exit the airport terminal across the street at Quito Airport Center, the airport's shopping mall. The kiosk is called SIM Store and they sell at the official price, although only the higher-tier combo is available. They will take care of registration and topping up.
Combo Plans Edit
Default rate outside packages is $ 0.20 per MB (plus taxes) . These combo plans are offered:
- $ 5: 750 MB, 15 minutes, 50 SMS, 15 mins VoIP for 30 days
- $ 10: 2 GB, 50 minutes, 50 SMS, 50 mins VoIP for 30 days
- $ 15: 3 GB, 100 minutes, 50 SMS, 100 mins VoIP for 30 days
Minutes and SMS can be used to call or SMS to Ecuador, USA, Canada, Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Italy and Spain. All combos include unlimited WhatsApp (no VoIP calls included) not debited from your data balance, unlimited on-net Tuenti calls and a special allowance (800MB) for Spotify audio streaming.
Activation is made online on your account or through the app. You can upsize existing combos by 200 MB at $2 or 400 MB at $4, each for 30 days. You can also activate two combos and all of the data/voice/SMS allowances will add up, although the duration of the package will remain for 30 days only.
More Information Edit
- APN: internet.tuenti.ec
- Website in Spanish: http://www.tuenti.ec