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

Synopsis

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 is about 131%, with a slight fall in the number of subscribers in recent years 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 and by a further 5.3% in 2018.

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.

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.

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.

Key developments:

  • LTE coverage should reach 93% population coverage by end-2019;
  • Movistar Argentina begins deploying LTE-M and NB-IoT technologies;
  • 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;
  • Regulator licences the Catel cooperative to manage members as MVNOs;
  • Virgin Mobile and Teledifusora receive MVNO licences;
  • Spectrum in the 700MHz band allocated to licensees;
  • MNP rules amended;
  • Report update includes the regulator's market update to February 2019, telcos' operating data to Q1 2019, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

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

Table of Contents

  • Market analysis

  • Mobile statistics

    • General statistics
    • Mobile data
      • Short Message Service (SMS)
    • Mobile broadband
    • Forecasts – mobile subscribers – 2019; 2021; 2023
  • Regulatory issues

    • Spectrum auctions
      • 450MHz
      • 600MHz
      • 2.5GHz
      • 700MHz, 1900MHz and 1700MHz
      • ARSAT spectrum
    • Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
    • Calling Party Pays (CCP)
    • Roaming
    • SIM card registration
  • Mobile infrastructure

    • 5G
    • 4G (LTE)
    • 3G
    • Other infrastructure developments
      • Mobile satellite
      • IoT
  • Major mobile operators

    • Claro (previously CTI Móvil)
    • Telecom Personal
    • Movistar
    • Nextel Argentina
    • Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs)
  • Related reports


List of Tables

  • Table 1 – Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration – 1998 – 2009
  • Table 2 – Mobile subscribers and penetration – 2010 – 2019
  • Table 3 – Mobile subscriber annual change – 2009 – 2018
  • Table 4 – Historic - Mobile operators’ market share – 1999 – 2009
  • Table 5 – Mobile operators’ market share – 2010 – 2017
  • Table 6 – Mobile prepaid/postpaid ratio – 2013 – 2018
  • Table 7 – Mobile prepaid and postpaid subscribers – 2013 – 2018
  • Table 8 – Mobile market revenue and investment – 2013 – 2018
  • Table 9 – Mobile annualised ARPU – 2013 – 2018
  • Table 10 – SMS traffic – 2007 – 2018
  • Table 11 – Active mobile broadband subscribers and penetration rate – 2010 – 2018
  • Table 12 – Forecast mobile subscribers – 2019; 2023; 2023
  • Table 13 – Annual mobile numbers ported – 2012 – 2019
  • Table 14 – Movistar LTE subscribers and penetration – 2016 – 2018
  • Table 15 –LTE base stations in service – 2015 – 2018
  • Table 16 – Historic - Claro – mobile subscribers – 1999 – 2009
  • Table 17 – Claro – mobile subscribers – 2010 – 2019
  • Table 18 – Claro – wireless revenue – 2012 – 2019
  • Table 19 – Telecom Personal – mobile subscribers, annual change – 1999 – 2018
  • Table 20 – Personal – prepaid, contract, mobile broadband subscribers – 2013 – 2018
  • Table 21 – Personal – mobile ARPU – 2012 – 2018
  • Table 22 – Personal – mobile service revenue – 2012 – 2018
  • Table 23 – Personal – mobile data and voice usage per month– 2013 – 2018
  • Table 24 – Historic - Movistar – mobile subscribers – 1999 – 2009
  • Table 25 – Movistar – mobile subscribers – 2010 – 2018
  • Table 26 – Movistar – mobile revenue – 2009 – 2018
  • Table 27 – Movistar – blended mobile ARPU – 2008 – 2018
  • Table 28 – Historic - Nextel mobile revenue – 2012 – 2015
  • Table 29 – Historic - Nextel mobile ARPU – 2012 – 2015
  • Table 30 – Historic - Nextel – mobile subscribers – 2002 – 2015

List of Charts

  • Chart 1 – Mobile subscribers and penetration – 2005 – 2019
  • Chart 2 – Mobile market share at a glance – 2004 – 2017
  • Chart 3 – Mobile market revenue and investment – 2013 – 2018
  • Chart 4 – Movistar – mobile revenue – 2009 – 2018

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