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

Synopsis

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.

Key developments:

  • Telecom Argentina signs Partner Market agreement with Vodafone;
  • Telefónica looks to an IPO for its Argentinian unit;
  • Regulator preps for multi-spectrum auction for LTE services;
  • 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;
  • 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 the regulator’s market update to September 2017, telcos’ operating data to Q2 2018, recent market developments.
  • Companies mentioned in this report:

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

Table of Contents

  • 1. Synopsis
  • 2. Market analysis
  • 3. Mobile statistics
    • 3.1 General statistics
    • 3.2 Mobile data
      • 3.2.1 Short Message Service (SMS)
    • 3.3 Mobile broadband
    • 3.4 Forecasts – mobile subscribers – 2018; 2020; 2022
  • 4. Regulatory issues
    • 4.1 Spectrum auctions
      • 4.1.1 600MHz
      • 4.1.2 2.5GHz
      • 4.1.3 700MHz, 1900MHz and 1700MHz
    • 4.2 Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
    • 4.3 Calling Party Pays (CCP)
    • 4.4 Roaming
  • 5. Mobile infrastructure
    • 5.1.1 5G
    • 5.1.2 4G (LTE)
    • 5.1.3 3G
      • 5.2 Other infrastructure developments
        • 5.2.1 Mobile satellite
    • 6. Major mobile operators
      • 6.1 Claro (previously CTI Móvil)
      • 6.2 Telecom Personal
      • 6.3 Movistar
      • 6.4 Nextel Argentina
      • 6.5 Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs)
    • 7. Related reports
    • Table 1 – Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration – 1998 - 2009
    • Table 2 – Mobile subscribers and penetration – 2010 - 2018
    • Table 3 – Historic - Mobile operators’ market share – 1999 - 2009
    • Table 4 – Mobile operators’ market share – 2010 – 2016
    • Table 5 – Mobile prepaid/postpaid ratio – 2013 - 2017
    • Table 6 – Mobile market revenue and investment – 2013 - 2017
    • Table 7 – Mobile annualised ARPU – 2013 - 2017
    • Table 8 – SMS traffic – 2007 - 2016
    • Table 9 – Active mobile broadband subscribers and penetration rate – 2010 - 2017
    • Table 10 – Forecast mobile subscribers – 2018; 2022; 2022
    • Table 11 – Mobile numbers ported – 2012 - 2017
    • Table 12 – Movistar LTE subscribers and penetration – 2016 - 2018
    • Table 13 –LTE base stations in service – 2015 - 2017
    • Table 14 – Historic - Claro – mobile subscribers – 1999 - 2009
    • Table 15 – Claro – mobile subscribers – 2010 - 2018
    • Table 16 – Claro – wireless revenue – 2012 - 2018
    • Table 17 – Telecom Personal – mobile subscribers, annual change – 1999 - 2018
    • Table 18 – Personal – prepaid, contract, mobile broadband subscribers – 2012 - 2017
    • Table 19 – Personal – mobile ARPU – 2012 - 2018
    • Table 20 – Personal – mobile service revenue – 2012 - 2018
    • Table 21 – Personal – mobile data and voice usage per month– 2013 - 2017
    • Table 22 – Historic - Movistar – mobile subscribers – 1999 - 2009
    • Table 23 – Movistar – mobile subscribers – 2010 - 2018
    • Table 24 – Movistar – mobile revenue – 2009 - 2018
    • Table 25 – Movistar – blended mobile ARPU – 2008 - 2018
    • Table 26 – Nextel mobile revenue – 2012 - 2015
    • Table 27 – Nextel mobile ARPU – 2012 - 2015
    • Table 28 – Nextel – mobile subscribers – 2002 - 2015
    • Chart 1 – Mobile subscribers and penetration – 2005 – 2018
    • Chart 2 – Mobile market share at a glance – 2004 - 2016

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