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 143% by mid-2016, with a slight fall in the number of subscribers year-on-year 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.
Three mobile companies closely compete in the market, with América Móvil’s Claro marginally the market leader with about a third of subscribers. The other significant players are Telecom Personal (the mobile unit of Telecom Argentina, recently sold by Telecom Italia) and Telefónica’s Movistar. Nextel Argentina, which was sold to the conglomerate Grupo Clarin in January 2016, 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 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. In addition, the regulator anticipated reassigning 600MHz spectrum currently being used by pay-TV operators for mobile broadband by mid-2018.
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 to 2021.
Regulator sets out conditions and timetable for 600MHz spectrum to be reassigned from pay-TV to mobile use; Telecom Personal on track to provide 85% LTE population coverage by end-2016; NII Holdings completes the sale of Nextel Argentina to Grupo Clarin; Virgin Mobile Argentina awarded MVNO licence; 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, new law regulates MVNOs; MNP rules amended; Claro launches OTT service Clarovideo; report update includes telcos’ operating data to Q2 2016, recent market developments.
Claro, Telecom Personal, Movistar, Nextel Argentina, Nuestro Móvil, Libre.ar, Virgin Mobile, Tesacom.
Number of pages 20
Last updated 22 Aug 2016
Analyst: Henry Lancaster
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