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 139% at the end of 2017, 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 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, and into 2018 it is expected that several will launch services.
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 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.
Regulator licences the Catel cooperative to manage members as MVNOs; Movistar, Claro and telecom Personal awarded 15-year licences in the 2.5GHz band; Virgin Mobile and Teledifusora receive MVNO licences; Nextel Argentina authorised to provide LTE services; regulator sets out conditions and timetable for 600MHz spectrum to be reassigned from pay-TV to mobile use; spectrum in the 700MHz band allocated to licensees; MNP rules amended; report update includes telcos’ operating data to Q3 2017, regulator’s market update to September 2017, recent market developments.
Claro, Telecom Personal, Movistar, Nextel Argentina, Nuestro Móvil, Libre.ar, Virgin Mobile, Tesacom.
Number of pages 22
Last updated 15 Dec 2017
Analyst: Henry Lancaster
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