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Argentina - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

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Last updated: 22 Apr 2020 Update History

Report Pages: 182

Publication Overview

This report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in Argentina’s telecommunications market. The report analyses the fixed-line, mobile and broadband sectors. Subjects include:

  • Market and industry analyses, trends and developments;
  • Facts, figures and statistics;
  • Industry and regulatory issues;
  • Infrastructure developments;
  • Major Players, Revenues, Subscribers, ARPU, MoU;
  • Mobile Voice and Data Markets;
  • Broadband (FttP, DSL, cable, wireless);
  • Mobile subscribers and ARPU;
  • Broadband market forecasts;
  • Government policies affecting the telecoms industry;
  • Market liberalisation and industry issues;
  • Telecoms operators – privatisation, IPOs, acquisitions, new licences;
  • Mobile technologies (GSM; 3G, HSPA, LTE, 5G).

Researcher:- Henry Lancaster
Current publication date:- January 2020 (18th Edition)

Executive Summary

Telefónica Argentina considers exiting the market

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. By late 2019 the ARS4.53 billion program to extend broadband services to rural communities, managed by the state-owned infrastructure operator ARSAT, was mostly 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.

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. This is partly due to pricing competition among operators which has reduced the incentive for multiple-SIM card ownership. 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.

Operators have trialled 5G though given the continued capacity of LTE infrastructure it is unlikely that commercial 5G services will be available before 2021.

Argentina also has one of the highest broadband penetration rates in Latin America, supported by investment among operators as well as a number of government programs aimed at extending the reach of services. Although the country’s economic and political difficulties during the last decade have impacted on sector investments there have been steady improvements in recent quarters, with a considerable proportion of investment being earmarked for expanding fibre networks beyond areas of the principal cities.

This report provides an overview of Argentina’s telecom market and regulatory environment, including statistical data and analyses on recent market developments. The report also reviews the fixed and fixed-wireless broadband markets and as well as the mobile voice and data segments, with profiles of the major operators and analyses on technologies deployed and market dynamics. The report in addition provides a number of subscriber forecasts to 2024.

BuddeComm notes that the outbreak of the Coronavirus in 2020 is having a significant impact on production and supply chains globally. During the coming year the telecoms sector to various degrees is likely to experience a downturn in mobile device production, while it may also be difficult for network operators to manage workflows when maintaining and upgrading existing infrastructure. Overall progress towards 5G may be postponed or slowed down in some countries.

On the consumer side, spending on telecoms services and devices is under pressure from the financial effect of large-scale job losses and the consequent restriction on disposable incomes. However, the crucial nature of telecom services, both for general communication as well as a tool for home-working, will offset such pressures. In many markets the net effect should be a steady though reduced increased in subscriber growth.

Although it is challenging to predict and interpret the long-term impacts of the crisis as it develops, these have been acknowledged in the industry forecasts contained in this report.

The report also covers the responses of the telecom operators as well as government agencies and regulators as they react to the crisis to ensure that citizens can continue to make optimum use of telecom services. This can be reflected in subsidy schemes and the promotion of tele-health and tele-education, among other solutions.

Key developments:

  • Telefónica Group looks to sell Latin American operations excepting Brazil;
  • Federal Fibre-Optic Network aiming to connect 2,600 localities across the country;
  • Movistar Argentina begins deploying LTE-M and NB-IoT technologies;
  • Mercosur bloc countries end mobile roaming charges;
  • Government provides €20 million for two 5G trials;
  • Movistar, Claro and Telecom Personal awarded 15-year licences in the 2.5GHz band;
  • Telecom Argentina scales down investment in response to macro-economic difficulties;
  • Report update includes the regulator's market data to September 2019, telcos' operating and financial data to Q3 2019, Telecom Maturity Index charts and analyses, recent market developments.
  • Assessment of the global impact of COVID-19 on the telecoms sector.

Companies mentioned in this report:

Movistar (Telefónica de Argentina), Telecom Argentina, Grupo Clarín, Claro (Telmex Argentina), Telecom Personal, Nextel Argentina, DirecTV, IPLAN, IP-TEL, Fecotel, Fecosur, COTEL, Cotecal, ARSAT, INVAP, Nuestro Móvil, Libre.ar, Virgin Mobile, Tesacom, Cablevisión, VeloCom, Netizen, Phonevision/Omnivision, Telpin, Supercanal, Telecentro, Red Intercable, MercadoLibre.

Henry Lancaster
January 2020

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