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Argentina - Telecoms, IP Networks, Digital Media and Forecasts

Argentina - Telecoms, IP Networks, Digital Media and Forecasts

Grupo Clarín breaks up its operating divisions in line with government orders

Argentina has one of the more advanced telecom infrastructures in Latin America, with a large number of companies licensed to provide services. Telecom revenue is expected to have reached more than $17.8 billion in 2013. Mobile revenue accounts for more than two thirds of the total, and this proportion continues to rise at the expense of fixed-line sales.

Telefónica Argentina and Telecom Argentina are the largest telcos in terms of subscribers and revenue, followed by Claro and Grupo Clarín.

The country’s regulatory framework encourages competition and supports smaller telecom players. Argentina has adopted a single licence system (Licencia Única), which telcos must obtain regardless of the services they provide. Operators must list in their licence applications which services they wish to offer, but can at any time register for additional ones. However, broadband competition is weak, and the wholesale market is poorly regulated.

Argentina’s fixed-line teledensity is the fourth highest in South America after Uruguay, Chile, and Brazil. As in other countries, fixed-to-mobile substitution has adversely affected the fixed-line market, leading to lower revenue while teledensity has shrunk by 2.7 percentage points since peaking at 24.5% in 2005.

The local fixed-line market is dominated by Telecom and Telefónica Argentina. Some 400 smaller telcos, mostly cooperatives, are also active, as well as a few cable TV companies which provide fixed telephony over their networks as part of bundled service offerings. While long distance services are highly competitive, in the local telephony sector, despite the large number of operators, meaningful competition has yet to develop. Telefónica Argentina and Telecom own respectively 52% and 45% of the country’s fixed lines in service.

Unlike other countries where triple play has helped boost the flagging fixed-line sector, the only company that could have made a difference – Grupo Clarín – has not been allowed to offer telephony services.

Although Argentina’s broadband penetration is the third highest in Latin America, after Uruguay and Chile, economic and political difficulties during the last decade have impacted on sector investments, with the result that average download speeds, at about 5.5Mb/s, are relatively low for the region. The average speed ranks Argentina 120th of 190 countries.

To boost fixed broadband uptake, further regulatory measures are needed to promote competition. Telefónica Argentina and Telecom dominate the DSL market, offering similar services and together controlling about 68% of all broadband connections. Competition from Grupo Clarín, via its cable network, has been complicated by disputes between the company and government, which obliged Grupo Clarín to separate its operations, including its broadband division Cablevisión (providing services branded as FiberTel) into separate entities as part of new media legislation introduced in 2013.

A national connectivity plan, dubbed ‘Argentina Conectada’ and launched in late 2010, involves the deployment of broadband services and free-to-air digital TV to underserved parts of the country. The plan, to be completed by the end of 2015, is being undertaken by the state-owned satellite company Arsat.

Argentina’s pay TV market is the most mature in Latin America. The country has one of the highest pay TV penetration rates in the region, with about two-thirds of homes subscribing to services. Pay TV households are evenly distributed, with penetration in the major cities only slightly higher than in the rest of the country.

Grupo Clarín’s Cablevisión is the country’s leading pay TV operator with about 36% of the market; DirecTV is the second largest player, followed by Supercanal, Telecentro, and Red Intercable. About a quarter of the market is shared among small local companies and cooperatives.

Argentina also has one of the most dynamic mobile markets in the region, with the third largest number of subscribers after Brazil and Mexico. Three mobile operators compete and a small number of other players, with América Móvil’s Claro the market leader, followed by Telecom Personal (the mobile unit of Telecom Argentina) and Telefónica’s Movistar. Argentina’s smartphone penetration is relatively high for the region, though it continues to be held back by the high cost of devices.

Data in this report is the latest available at the time of preparation and may not be for the current year


  • EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
  • KEY STATISTICS
    • Table Country statistics Argentina - 2013 (e)
    • Table Telephone network statistics - 2014 (e)
    • Table Internet user statistics - 2014 (e)
    • Table Broadband statistics - 2014 (e)
    • Table Mobile statistics - 2014 (e)
    • Table National telecommunications authorities
    • COUNTRY OVERVIEW
      • Economic background
        • Table Evolution of GDP in Argentina - 2000 - 2013
  • TELECOMMUNICATIONS MARKET
    • OVERVIEW OF ARGENTINA'S TELECOM MARKET
      • Table Fixed lines and mobile subscribers - 2005 - 2014
      • Table Fixed and mobile market share - 1998 - 2013
    • MARKET ANALYSIS
      • Table Telecom revenue of major operators - 2010 - 2012
      • Table Telecom revenue by segment and as proportion of national GDP - 2010 - 2015
  • REGULATORY ENVIRONMENT
    • BACKGROUND
    • REGULATORY AUTHORITIES
      • Secretaría de Comunicaciones (SeCom)
      • Comisión Nacional de Comunicaciones (CNC)
      • Secretaría de Defensa de la Competencia y del Consumidor
    • INTERCONNECT
    • NUMBER PORTABILITY (NP)
    • SINGLE LICENCE
  • FIXED NETWORK OPERATORS
    • OVERVIEW OF OPERATORS
      • Table Fixed lines in service - market share - 2003 - 2013
    • TELEFÓNICA DE ARGENTINA (TA)
      • Table Telefónica de Argentina at a glance
      • Table Telecom Argentina fixed lines in service - 2000 - 2013
    • TELECOM ARGENTINA
      • Table Telecom Argentina at a glance
      • Table Telecom Argentina domestic revenue by service - 201 - 2013
      • Table Telecom Argentina revenue - 2011 - 2013
      • Table Telecom Argentina fixed lines in service - 2000 - 2013
    • TELECOM COOPERATIVES
    • CLARO
    • IPLAN
  • TELECOMMUNICATIONS INFRASTRUCTURE
    • NATIONAL TELECOM NETWORK
      • Fixed-line statistics
        • Table Historic - Fixed lines in service and teledensity - 1996 - 2004
        • Table Fixed lines in service and teledensity - 2005 - 2014
      • Public payphones
        • Table Public phones - 1996 - 2013
    • INTERNATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE
      • Submarine cable networks
      • Satellite networks
    • INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENTS
      • CDMA 450
      • IP and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
    • WHOLESALE
      • Table Telefónica de Argentina wholesale accesses - 2005 - 2013
  • BROADBAND MARKET
    • BROADBAND ACCESS MARKET
      • Overview
        • Table Internet users and user penetration - 1996 - 2014
        • Table Internet users and user penetration - 2005 - 2014
        • Table Fixed broadband subscribers and penetration rates - 2001 - 2014
        • Table Fixed broadband market share by technology - 2003 - 2014
      • Broadband players
        • Table Telefónica Argentina broadband subscribers - 2001 - 2013
        • Table Telecom - broadband subscribers - 2003 - 2013
        • Table FiberTel - broadband subscribers - 2003 - 2013
      • Cable modems
        • Table Cable modem subscribers and penetration rates - 2001 - 2014
      • Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL)
        • Table ADSL subscribers and penetration rates - 2001 - 2014
      • Fibre-to-the-Premise (FttP) networks
      • Wireless broadband
      • Media convergence
  • DIGITAL MEDIA / DIGITAL ECONOMY
    • DIGITAL MEDIA OVERVIEW
      • Table Facebook users and penetration - 2008 - 2013
      • Broadcasting
        • Table Pay TV (cable and satellite) subscribers and penetration rates - 1999 - 2013
        • Table Pay TV operators' market share - 2010 - 2012
        • Table Grupo Clarín at a glance
        • Table Cablevisión cable TV subscribers - 2000 - 2013
    • DIGITAL ECONOMY
      • E-government
      • E-education
      • E-commerce
        • Table Argentina - B2C e-commerce spending - 2005 - 2013
      • Online banking
  • MOBILE COMMUNICATIONS
    • OVERVIEW OF ARGENTINA'S MOBILE MARKET
      • Mobile statistics
        • Table Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration - 1998 - 2004
        • Table Mobile subscribers and penetration - 2005 - 2014
        • Table Historic - Mobile operators' market share - 1999 - 2004
        • Table Mobile operators' market share - 1999 - 2013
        • Table Evolution of mobile ARPU in Argentina - major operators - 2010 - 2012
    • REGULATORY ISSUES
      • Spectrum auctions
      • Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
    • MOBILE TECHNOLOGIES
      • Overview
      • Third Generation (3G) mobile networks (UMTS)
      • Long-term Evolution (LTE)
      • Mobile handsets/smart phones
    • MOBILE NETWORK OPERATORS
      • Claro (previously CTI Móvil)
        • Table Claro at a glance
        • Table Claro - mobile subscribers - 1999 - 2013
      • Telecom Personal
        • Table Telecom Personal at a glance
        • Table Personal - mobile subscribers - 1999 - 2013
      • Movistar
        • Table Movistar at a glance
        • Table Movistar - mobile subscribers - 1999 - 2013
      • Nextel Argentina
        • Table Nextel mobile revenue - 2012 - 2013
        • Table Nextel - mobile subscribers - 2002 - 2013
    • MOBILE VIRTUAL NETWORK OPERATORS (MVNO)
      • Overview
      • Nuestro Móvil
      • Libre.ar
    • MOBILE VOICE SERVICES
      • Prepaid
        • Table Mobile prepaid/postpaid ratio - 2004 - 2013
    • MOBILE MESSAGING
      • Short Message Service (SMS)
    • MOBILE BROADBAND
      • Table Mobile broadband subscribers and penetration - 2008 - 2014
    • MOBILE CONTENT AND APPLICATIONS
      • Mobile TV
    • MOBILE SATELLITE
  • FORECASTS
    • FORECASTS - FIXED-LINE MARKET 2015; 2020
      • Scenario 1 - higher fixed-line growth
        • Table Forecast fixed lines - higher growth scenario -2015; 2020
      • Scenario 2 - lower fixed-line growth
        • Table Forecast fixed lines - lower growth scenario -2015; 2020
    • FORECASTS - MOBILE MARKET 2015; 2020
      • Scenario 1 - higher mobile market growth
        • Table Forecast mobile subscribers - higher growth scenario -2015; 2020
      • Scenario 2 - lower mobile market growth
        • Table Forecast mobile subscribers - lower growth scenario -2015; 2020
    • FORECASTS - FIXED BROADBAND MARKET 2015; 2020
      • Scenario 1 - higher broadband growth
        • Table Forecast broadband subscribers - higher growth scenario -2015; 2020
      • Scenario 2 - lower broadband growth
        • Table Forecast broadband subscribers - lower growth scenario -2015; 2020

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