Argentina - Mobile Infrastructure, Broadband, Operators - Statistics and Analyses

Argentina - Mobile Infrastructure, Broadband, Operators - Statistics and Analyses

Argentina has one of the most dynamic mobile markets in Latin America and is the third largest in the region after Brazil and Mexico. Mobile penetration has fallen in recent years in line with a reduction in the number of subscribers following a long period of steady annual growth. Many Argentineans own multiple SIM cards, some having different phones for work and personal calls and some having a phone for separate mobile networks to take advantage of special offers. Other subscribers have an additional SIM card for mobile broadband services. Pricing competition among operators has reduced the incentive for multiple-SIM card ownership. As a result, the number of mobile subscribers fell 2.8% in 2017, by a further 5.3% in 2018 and by 1.4% in the first nine months of 2019.

Three players closely compete in the market, with América Móvil's Claro marginally the market leader. The other significant players are Telecom Personal (the mobile unit of Telecom Argentina) and Telefónica's Movistar. Nextel Argentina has a small market share, while Fecosur, an association of fixed-line telecom cooperatives, offers services as a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO), under the Nuestro brand. The regulator has encouraged the market entry of additional MVNOs to increase competition. Market changes are anticipated in 2020 if Telefónica Group completes its plan to sell its business unit in Argentina, as part of a wider effort to exit Latin America though retaining its interests in Brazil.

Significant improvements to the capacity of mobile networks are anticipated during the next few years following the auction of spectrum in the 700MHz and 1700-2100MHz bands, which increased the available spectrum for operators to 380MHz. Most of the spectrum has been set aside for LTE, while 37.5MHz was reserved for 3G. In addition, the regulator is aiming to reassign 600MHz spectrum from pay-TV services for mobile broadband use. Operators have trialled 5G though given the continued capacity of LTE infrastructure it is unlikely that commercial 5G services will be available before 2021.

This report provides an overview of Argentina's mobile market and a brief profile of the mobile operators. It contains key market statistics and analyses on regulatory matters, as also subscriber forecasts to 2024.

Key developments:

Personal contracts Huawei to trial 5G;
Movistar Argentina begins deploying LTE-M and NB-IoT technologies;
Mercosur bloc countries end mobile roaming charges;
Regulator allows MNOs to access ARSAT spectrum;
Government provides 20 million for two 5G trials;
Movistar, Claro and Telecom Personal awarded 15-year licences in the 2.5GHz band;
Spectrum in the 700MHz band allocated to licensees;
MNP rules amended;
Report update includes the regulators market update to September 2019, telcos operating data to Q3 2019, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

Claro, Telecom Personal, Movistar, Nextel Argentina, Nuestro Móvil, Libre.ar, Virgin Mobile, Tesacom


  • Synopsis
  • Market analysis
  • Mobile statistics
    • GENERAL STATISTICS
      • Table Growth in the number of mobile subscribers and penetration – 2009 – 2024
      • Table Mobile subscriber annual change – 2009 – 2019
      • Table Change in mobile operators' market share – 2010 – 2019
      • Table Change in the ratio of mobile prepaid/postpaid subscribers – 2013 – 2019
      • Table Change in the number of prepaid and postpaid mobile subscribers – 2013 – 2019
      • Table Growth in mobile market revenue and investment – 2013 – 2019
      • Table Mobile annualised ARPU – 2013 – 2019
      • Table Growth in mobile voice traffic – 2013 – 2019
    • MOBILE DATA
      • Short Message Service (SMS)
        • Table Decline in SMS traffic – 2007 – 2019
    • MOBILE BROADBAND
      • Table Growth in the number of active mobile broadband subscribers and penetration rate – 2009 – 2024
  • Regulatory issues
    • SPECTRUM AUCTIONS
      • 450MHz
      • 600MHz
      • 2.5GHz
      • 700MHz, 1900MHz and 1700MHz
      • ARSAT spectrum
    • MOBILE NUMBER PORTABILITY (MNP)
      • Table Change in annual mobile numbers ported – 2012 – 2019
    • CALLING PARTY PAYS (CCP)
    • ROAMING
    • SIM CARD REGISTRATION
  • Mobile infrastructure
    • 5G
    • 4G (LTE)
      • Table Growth in the number of Movistar's LTE subscribers and penetration – 2016 – 2019
      • Table Increase in the number of LTE base stations in service – 2015 – 2019
    • 3G
    • OTHER INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENTS
      • Mobile satellite
      • IoT
  • Major mobile operators
    • CLARO (PREVIOUSLY CTI MÓVIL)
      • Table Growth in the number of Claro's mobile subscribers – 2010 – 2019
      • Table Growth in Claro's wireless revenue – 2012 – 2019
    • TELECOM PERSONAL
      • Table Change in Telecom Personal's mobile subscribers and annual change – 2009 – 2019
      • Table Change in the number of Telecom Personal's prepaid, contract, mobile broadband subscribers – 2013 – 2019
      • Table Change in telecom Personal's mobile ARPU – 2012 – 2019
      • Table Development of Telecom Personal's mobile service revenue – 2012 – 2019
      • Table Personal – mobile data and voice usage per month– 2013 – 2018
    • MOVISTAR
      • Table Change in the number of Movistar's mobile subscribers – 2010 – 2019
      • Table Development of Movistar's mobile revenue – 2009 – 2019
      • Table Decline in Movistar's blended mobile ARPU – 2008 – 2019
    • NEXTEL ARGENTINA
    • MOBILE VIRTUAL NETWORK OPERATORS (MVNOS)
  • Appendix – Historic data
    • Table Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration – 1998 – 2009
    • Table Historic - Nextel mobile revenue – 2012 – 2015
    • Table Historic - Nextel mobile ARPU – 2012 – 2015
    • Table Historic - Mobile operators' market share – 1999 – 2009
    • Table Historic - Nextel – mobile subscribers – 2002 – 2015
    • Table Historic - Telecom Personal mobile subscribers, annual change – 1999 – 2009
    • Table Historic - Movistar – mobile subscribers – 1999 – 2009
    • Table Historic - Claro – mobile subscribers – 1999 – 2009
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