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


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Argentina has one of the most dynamic mobile markets in Latin America, being the third largest in the region after Brazil and Mexico. Mobile penetration was about 140% by mid-2015, with a slight fall in the number of subscribers year-on-year following a period of annual growth of 3-4%. Many Argentineans own multiple SIM cards, some having different phones for work and personal calls, some having a phone for each mobile company to take advantage of special offers, and some requiring an additional SIM card for mobile broadband.

Three mobile companies compete neck-and-neck, with América Móvil's Claro the market leader, controlling about a third of the mobile market by subscribers. The other significant players are Telecom Personal (the mobile unit of Telecom Argentina, controlled by Telecom Italia and in the process of being sold) and Telefónica's Movistar. Nextel 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.

Argentina's smartphone penetration is relatively high for the region, though it continues to be held back by the high cost of devices. Significant changes to the reliability 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 2G and 3G. The new licensing will bring significant investment and infrastructure development to the market.

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 scenario forecasts up to 2020.

Key developments:

Regulator rejects the sale of 49% stake in Nextel Argentina by NII Holdings; spectrum in the 700MHz bloc allocated to licensees; revised set of rules and procedures for MVNOs established; multi-spectrum auction for 3G and LTE services delivers $2.233 billion; roaming deal with Chile and Peru on the cards; MNOs sign MoU on Calling Party Pays rules; Claro Argentina investing $400 million annually in infrastructure, Arsat awarded 25% of Argentina's mobile spectrum, provides wholesale mobile services under the Libre.ar brand; MNOs offer handsets with built-in FTA air digital terrestrial TV reception; new law regulates Mobile Virtual Network Operators; MNP rules amended; Claro launches OTT service Clarovideo; telcos' operating data to Q3 2015; recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report include:

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


1. Synopsis
2. Market analysis recent developments
3. Mobile statistics
3.1 General statistics
3.2 Mobile voice
3.2.1 Prepaid
3.3 Mobile data
3.3.1 Short Message Service (SMS)
3.4 Mobile broadband
3.5 Forecasts
3.5.1 Notes on scenario forecasts
4. Regulatory issues
4.1 Spectrum auctions
4.2 Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
4.3 Calling Party Pays (CCP)
4.4 Roaming
5. Mobile infrastructure
5.1 Digital networks
5.1.1 Third Generation (3G; UMTS)
5.1.2 Long-term Evolution (LTE)
5.2 Other infrastructure developments
5.2.1 Mobile satellite
6. Major mobile operators
6.1 Claro (previously CTI Móvil)
6.2 Telecom Personal
6.3 Movistar
6.4 Nextel Argentina
6.5 Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO)
6.5.1 Nuestro Móvil
6.5.2 Libre.ar
7. Mobile content and applications
7.1 m-TV
8. Mobile handsets
9. Related reports
List of Tables, Charts and Exhibits
Table 1 Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration 1998 - 2004
Table 2 Mobile subscribers and penetration 2005 - 2016
Table 3 Historic - Mobile operators' market share 1999 - 2004
Table 4 Mobile operators' market share 1999 - 2014
Table 5 Mobile prepaid/postpaid ratio 2004 - 2015
Table 6 Active mobile broadband subscribers and penetration 2010 - 2015
Table 7 Forecast mobile subscribers 2015; 2017; 2020
Table 8 Historic - Claro mobile subscribers 1999 - 2004
Table 9 Claro mobile subscribers 2005 - 2015
Table 10 Claro wireless revenue 2013 - 2015
Table 11 Personal mobile subscribers 1999 - 2015
Table 12 Personal mobile ARPU 2012 - 2014
Table 13 Personal mobile service revenue 2012 - 2015
Table 14 Historic - Movistar mobile subscribers 1999 - 2005
Table 15 Movistar mobile subscribers 2005 - 2015
Table 16 Movistar mobile revenue 2009 - 2015
Table 17 Movistar mobile ARPU 2008 - 2015
Table 18 Nextel mobile revenue 2012 - 2015
Table 19 Nextel mobile ARPU 2012 - 2015
Table 20 Nextel mobile subscribers 2002 - 2015
Chart 1 Mobile subscribers and penetration 2005 2016
Chart 2 Mobile market share at a glance 2004 - 2014
Exhibit 1 Claro at a glance
Exhibit 2 Telecom Personal at a glance
Exhibit 3 Movistar at a glance

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