Argentina’s ongoing problem with hyperinflation continues to distort the telecom market’s performance, which shows strong growth in revenue but only modest gains in subscriber numbers each year. The country’s economic challenges have been exacerbated since 2020 by the Covid-19 pandemic and the resultant austerity measures, coupled with a drought, lower export sales, and an economic slowdown in Brazil – Argentina’s main trading partner.
Nevertheless, the mobility restrictions, rising unemployment, and an overall decline in productivity have had a minimal adverse effect on the telecom sector. Fixed-line teledensity continues on its slow, gradual decline year upon year, but at a much gentler pace than has been seen in other parts of the world. The fixed broadband segment has penetration levels only slightly higher than the fixed-line teledensity; nearly a quarter of the country’s broadband connections are via DSL, although fibre is starting claim an increasing share of that market as networks expand across most of the main cities.
Mobile broadband continues to be the preferred platform for internet access, supported by high mobile penetration levels and nationwide LTE coverage. The first 5G service was launched in February 2021 using re-farmed LTE frequencies. The anticipated 5G spectrum auctions should drive even stronger uptake in mobile broadband services.
While the various fixed, mobile, and cable operators push to expand and enhance their services, the government is also making an active contribution towards boosting broadband connectivity around the country. Its national connectivity plan ‘Plan Conectar’, launched in September 2020, provides funding for a range of programs to increase coverage. In August 2021, the telecom regulator announced the release of a further ARS671.6 million in funding to help operators accelerate the rollout of their broadband infrastructure and services.
This report includes the regulator's market data to June 2021, telcos' financial and operating data updates to Q3 2021, Telecom Maturity Index charts and analyses, assessment of the global impact of Covid-19 on the telecoms sector, and other recent market developments.
Movistar, Telefónica de Argentina, Telecom Argentina, Grupo Clarín, Claro, Telmex, Telecom Personal, Nextel Argentina, IPLAN, ARSAT, Cablevisión, VeloCom, Fibrenet, Arnet, MercadoLibre.
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