Argentina - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses
Argentinian telcos scale down investments in response to harsh economic climate
Argentina has an advanced telecom infrastructure though considerable investment is still required to update services in rural areas. To meet pent up demand for telecom services the government has embarked on a large-scale National Broadband Plan. In August 2016 the state-owned infrastructure operator ARSAT launched a project to extend broadband services to some 1,200 rural communities. By mid-2018 this project was about 75% complete.
Although there are numerous operators licensed to provide services, there remains insufficient competition. The provision of both broadband and mobile services is dominated by a few key players, including Movistar, Telecom Argentina and Claro. The broadband sector is dominated by Movistar and Telecom Argentina. The market saw some consolidation after Telecom Argentina acquired Cablevisión, the cable broadband unit of Grupo Clarín, in January 2018. Grupo Clarín retains an interest in the mobile segment following its January 2016 acquisition of Nextel Argentina.
Mobile penetration is about 138%, with a slight fall in the number of subscribers in recent years following a long period of steady annual growth. Many Argentineans own more than one SIM card though pricing competition among operators has reduced the incentive for multiple-SIM card ownership. Claro, Telecom Personal and Movistar closely compete in the market, with Nextel Argentina having a small market share. The regulator has encouraged the market entry of additional MVNOs to increase competition.
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. In addition, the regulator is aiming to reassign 600MHz spectrum from pay-TV services for mobile broadband use.
Argentina has one of the highest broadband penetration rates in Latin America. The country’s economic and political difficulties during the last decade have impacted on sector investments, though there have been steady improvements in recent quarters. A large tranch of investment has been earmarked to expand fibre networks beyond certain areas of the main cities. This work has had a positive effect on the delivery of services, with the average download speed having increased from 5.3Mb/s in the first quarter of 2016 to 13.2Mb/s by the second quarter of 2018.
This report provides an overview of Argentina’s telecom market and regulatory environment, accompanied by statistical data and analyses on recent market developments. The report also covers the fixed and fixed-wireless broadband markets, as also developments in the mobile voice and data segments.
Telecom Argentina scales down investment in response to macro-economic difficulties;
Construction started on the ARBR submarine cable between Argentina and Brazil;
Fixed-number portability finally rolled out;
Telecom Argentina completes merger with Cablevisión;
Federal Fibre-Optic Network aiming to connect 2,600 localities across the country;
Argentina develops local link to the Atlantic Cable System (ACSea) in partnership with Brazil;
Report update includes the regulator’s market update to March 2018, telcos’ operating data to Q2 2018, recent market developments.
Companies mentioned in this report:
Claro, Nextel Argentina, Nuestro Móvil, Libre.ar, Virgin Mobile, Tesacom, Movistar (Telefónica de Argentina), Telecom Argentina (Personal), Grupo Clarín, Cablevisión, VeloCom, Netizen, Phonevision/Omnivision, Telpin, DirecTV, Supercanal, Telecentro, Red Intercable, ARSAT, MercadoLibre, IPLAN, IP-TEL, Fecotel, Fecosur, COTEL, Cotecal, INVAP.