Convergencia Research
Friday, November 19, 2021

Internet Map in Argentina 2021

The wholesale internet market becomes more complex and enriched with more services

Internet Map in Argentina 2021 - Credit: © 2021 Grupo Convergencia
Internet Map in Argentina 2021 - Credit: © 2021 Grupo Convergencia

Three factors marked the behavior of the market for ISPs and wholesale capacity players in Argentina during 2021. First, the expansion of the offer, with two new submarine cables landed in Las Toninas, a milestone that occurs after two decades and with which it increases in quality and capacity, international connectivity. On the other hand, CDN schemes such as that of the Chamber of Telecommunications Cooperatives (Catel) and Arsat, which reduce the costs of small providers: thanks to them, part of the international traffic becomes national, so these new models or products of CDN solve the demand for more capacity. 

Third, there is a higher density of caches installed in ISPs and cooperatives headquarters, that is, there are more providers “caching” their content in more local operators, and in many cases these actors are smaller in size. With all this, the content is closer to the user, more traffic remains within national borders and the IP transit and transport business continues to change. 

Industry sources warn of a doubling of demand -both for IP transit and transport-. Among the companies surveyed for this research, Datco went from commercializing 333 GB of IP transit capacity in 2020, to 573 GB this year, leveraged on a 2x1 offer that remains in force and even allowed it to add new clients (it had 184 and now has 202). Claro kept its wholesale portfolio stable, at just over 60, but currently the contracted capacity exceeds 117 GB, compared to 62 GB last year. Along the same lines, Aguas del Colorado SAPEM did not vary in the number of clients, but the contracted capacity went from 38 GB to more than 50 GB.

These movements respond to home consumption: on average in Argentina there are about 3.5 computers per home consuming on demand over the same fixed access, a trend that is growing over the broadcast mode. 

There are also changes in the capacity purchase-sale relationship: between 2020 and 2021, more than 200 links between buyer and seller that were reflected in the last edition of the map expired. Between ISPs and their wholesale capacity providers, there was a substitution effect: they purchased less IP transit and transportation services because they resolve more traffic within CDNs. On the other hand, among large wholesale providers there is an effect driven by competition: in global backbones, this responded to the entry into the scene of Tannat and Malbec cables, among other alternatives. Also, certain ISPs noticed delays in ordering links from Arsat that forced them to opt for other providers. 

In a survey of 234 ISPs prepared for the Convergence Research Broadband Report, 13% of those surveyed admitted to having changed wholesale providers during 2020. 

Reflecting market trends in 2021, the 24th edition of the map incorporates on its back the detail of the CDN designed by the Chamber of Telecommunications Cooperatives (Catel), which generated a “cascade” content distribution scheme and now transformed the reality of 35 cooperatives. With Telviso and the Luján cooperative as “anchors” of this ecosystem, they achieved reductions in the wholesale cost to face the increase in demand and the price control established by the government.

This year, the graphical representation of Cabase's IXP network is also on the back of the Internet Map. It comprises 28 operational traffic exchange points and four that will be inaugurated soon -Concepción del Uruguay, Comodoro Rivadavia, Venado Tuerto and Canning-, with a traffic of 3,013 Gbps, 30% more year-on-year than that exchanged in July 2021. From Cabase an increase of close to 50% in the average volume of traffic is expected for 2021, compared to the previous year. 

In the front of this publication the mention of the submarine cables that moor in the country was incorporated. At the end of 2020, the entry into operations of the extension of Tannat, Antel and Google was completed; and in May 2021, Malbec, Globenet and Facebook. This had the impact of reducing the cost of international capacity between 30% and 40% in dollars. Finally, for this edition the research was expanded since 60 new ISPs were incorporated.

Out of a total of 234 ISPs surveyed for the Convergence Research Broadband Report, in the second quarter 77% were already providing services with FTTH in part of their coverage area. In most cases it corresponds to ISPs that have an installed base in another access technology (Wireless, ADSL, HFC). In this sample, 71% of the ISPs with fiber are in the central region, 11% in Patagonia, 7% in NOA, 6% in Cuyo and 5% in NEA. 

And the Ministry of Public Innovation continued with the schedule of the Connect Plan, which has among its objectives to extend the Federal Fiber Optic Network (Refefo). 

In June an IDB loan was announced to finance stage 3 of the network consisting of 4,408 km along 258 towns in Buenos Aires, Catamarca, Chubut, Córdoba, Corrientes, Entre Ríos, Jujuy, La Pampa, Mendoza, Neuquén , Rio Negro, Salta, San Juan, San Luis, Santa Cruz, Santa Fe, Tierra del Fuego and Tucumán. 

The momentum of the Argentine Satellite System is added, with the launch of the Arsat SG1 in 2023 and the forecast of the SG2 later, manufactured by Invap with international financing from the IDB, as another of the basic factors for the extension of access. 

The relationship between the public and private sectors continued, as in 2020, crossed by the validity of Decree 690. This year the regulations received alternately objections and endorsements from the Justice after presentations by the most important providers in the market. Among the novelties in the regulatory field of 2021, the Common Infrastructure Regulation for ICT Services stands out, which innovates in terms of installations in residential buildings; and by the beginning of 2022, the entry into force of fixed portability.

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