Spanish telecoms giant Telefónica (NYSE: TEF) expects to invest 1.7bn pesos (US$488mn) in Argentina in both fixed telephony and mobile broadband segments over the 2009-10 period, Argentine state news service Télam reported.
The announcement was made by Argentine planning minister Julio de Vido during a state visit to Spain.
Local telecoms consultancy TBI Unit director Pablo Tedesco told BNamericas that the telco could be announcing this large investment to press the government to hike fixed telephony tariffs, which have been frozen since 2001. However, the analyst believes that Telefónica is more interested in launching its triple play strategy in the country. To achieve this, the government needs to change current regulations, which do not allow telcos to offer TV services.
Tedesco added that Telefónica is also investing to expand mobile broadband coverage to be in a better position to compete with ISPs.
Telefónica de Argentina (NYSE: TAR) currently provides mobile broadband through mobile operator Movistar. The operator has presence in approximately 150 towns and cities across the country with this service.