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QUITO, Feb 3 (Reuters) - Ecuador has reached a $330 million deal with local affiliates of America Movil and Telefonica to expand 4G mobile phone service in the Andean country, the telecommunications minister said late on Monday.
Under the agreement, both mobile operators can use a larger radio-electric spectrum to provide 4G services through 2023.
"It's a good deal for the state," Telecommunications Minister Augusto Espin told journalists.
Mexio's America Movil will pay some $180 million for access to 60 megahertz, while Spain's Telefonica will pay $150 million for 50 megahertz.
The two operators have been in negotiations with the government since last year.
There are around 17.4 million mobile subscribers in the country, of whom 67.1 percent use America Movil, while 28.6 percent use Telefonica.
Ecuador's public phone operator already offers 4G, but it serves only about 4 percent of clients. (Reporting by Alexandra Valencia; Writing by Julia Symmes Cobb; Editing by Bernadette Baum)