MWC 2020, Barcelona, 24-27 February
Tuesday, October 01, 2019

2019 Argentina Internet Map

Fiber and quality of service act as engines in an environment marked by uncertainty

2019 Argentina Internet Map - Credit: © 2019 Grupo Convergencia
2019 Argentina Internet Map - Credit: © 2019 Grupo Convergencia

Internet providers (ISPs) in Argentina are waiting for the fluctuations of the dollar and the political transition. The panorama for 2020 is only certain: the user will demand greater bandwidth for a varied consumption of OTT platforms. The answer to this requirement is in the fiber.

Until the PASO of last August, even with inflation, the commitment to deployments was constant in both large and small providers, as well as the receptivity of households to contract higher speed payments. At the end of June 2019, 32.71% of fixed Internet subscribers contracted plans of more than 20 Mbps, according to ENACOM data.

Among the organizations consulted for the Internet Map in Argentina 2019, 71% said that next year they will invest in fiber optics to migrate current clients in other technologies. Post-primary economic turbulence did not call into question the need to invest in fiber, but it did demand a reaction. Both cooperatives and private ISPs implemented a transfer of the adjustment to the client, with increases in the rates of their broadband plans of the order of 10% in September, and another possible similar adjustment before the end of the year, and of course, coupled with fear to possible disconnections.

On the other side of the equation, the price of the wholesale Mbps for IP traffic - and as happened in other times of exchange rate fluctuations -, the negotiation with the carrier is appealed. Small actors consider that “shopping pools” channeled through different types of organizations are an effective tool. In another order, some begin to wonder if, given the instability in the exchange rate, one must begin to think that the price of bandwidth is in pesos.

Arsat's decision to freeze the price for five months at a value of $ 56.01 ARG, equivalent to US $ 8 for the day of the announcement, which will be adjusted by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) was weighted from various cameras. . In concrete terms, what Arsat is doing is bringing its rate in US $ to an average market value. Meanwhile, the concrete benefit of agreeing the price in pesos will only be realized if inflation begins to moderate, among other factors.

Large operators Among the great providers Movistar surprises with the speed of its FTTH deployments and the migration of customers. As of June, it added 1.9 million past homes and 461,000 FTTH, equivalent to about 30% of its total fixed broadband customers. In addition, in less than a year since its convergent offer of fiber and Movistar TV reached 90,000 customers. It is followed by Claro, which would be around 1.3 million past homes.

Telecentre and Cablevision bet on Docsis 3.0 networks for speed. Telecentro continues to cover the GBA and reached 900,000 broadband subscribers. Cablevisión unified the Internet brands under Fibertel, bringing the former Arnet's offer to the 25 Mbps floor with Fibertel Lite.

As this map portrays in its 22nd edition, Telecom is the carrier with the largest number of ISP clients in the market (267), followed by Telefónica, with 249. In third place is Silica Networks, with 166 clients; and then, Arsat with around 100; and Ufinet, with 91. Claro registers 53 clients, as does Internexa, Aguas del Colorado, 48, and Iplan, 27.

The Cabase NAP network has 28 operational traffic exchange points, with a traffic of 1,161 Gbps, 24% more than the 931 Gbps exchanged in mid-2018. It also plans the inauguration of the NAP of Concepción del Uruguay in Entre Ríos.

ANRs and the 450 MHz band were the two instruments that Enacom opted in 2019 for the universalization of quality connectivity, in the first case, and the demand for wireless communications of SMEs in the interior, in the second. The 450 MHz frequency contest, in its spirit and letter, was intended for SMEs that provide local connectivity in the interior of the country, but the intention was ruined by the regulator's maneuvering and management. The main course was served in the opening of envelopes: Arsat competed in 96 of the 168 disputed areas with succulent offers that left competitors out. The connoisseurs of the case agree that it is most likely that the agency will allow time to bring down the contest, which already had several challenges. At the end of August, Enacom allocated spectrum in 450 MHz to six providers in different locations in Chaco, Tucumán and Mendoza, in areas where only one bidder appeared.

ENACOM accelerated the delivery of non-refundable contributions after the STEP. In August, it approved nine projects for almost $ 28 million, with amounts ranging from $ 500,000 to $ 5 million that generally benefited cooperatives. And in September, it awarded more than $ 35 million for projects with amounts of between $ 1 million and $ 20 million.

In the satellite segment, Orbith increased its footprint in the residential market with its white-label business model. He went from 15 ISPs twelve months ago to 21 residential and 7 corporate in the current portrait of the map.

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