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Argentine cooperative-owned MVNO to launch operations in January

Bnamericas Published: Friday, December 17, 2021
Argentine cooperative-owned MVNO to launch operations in January

Argentine virtual mobile operator (MVNO) Imowi, which is owned by telecom cooperatives, will start services on January 20.

The full MVNO service, planning for which began in 2017, will use the fixed infrastructure that cooperatives in the interior of the country have deployed.

Cooperative organization Catel had planned to launch the MVNO much earlier, but the complexities involved caused a delay.

Imowi has a contract to use Movistar's mobile network and spectrum. It will use the JSC Ingenium technology platform, according to a statement.

The new MVNO is ready to provide mobile services in county seats Del Viso, Pinamar, San Miguel del Monte and Tortuguitas in Buenos Aires province and Villa Gobernador Gálvez in Santa Fe.

Cooperatives in the towns already offer fixed telephony, internet and television but not mobile services. From January they will be able to offer quadruple play, the statement said.

The cooperatives plan is to add new locations during the first half of 2022.

BNamericas learned that Imowi will deploy new mobile coverage in disconnected areas with carrier Wi-Fi and its own mobile infrastructure.

Imowi has the capacity to serve users of more than 1,000 cooperatives and 1,500 SMEs throughout the country.

"Imowi is the answer to the challenge and the need to evolve, the continuity of a path where we solve structural and strategic challenges in the medium and long term," Catel president Ariel Fernández Alvarado said in the release.

To launch the mobile service, the cooperatives committed to an investment of US$2mn.

To date, the Colsecor organization, which brings together more than 270 communities throughout the country, and the Del Viso, San Miguel del Monte, Pinamar, Tortuguitas and Villa Gobernador Gálvez cooperatives have joined the Catel initiative.

The MVNO already has mobile numbers to provide services in the provinces of Córdoba, Santa Fe, La Pampa, Buenos Aires, La Rioja, Río Negro and Catamarca.

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