Argentine telecom sector revenues expected to go up in 2017

By
Monday, December 18, 2017

Argentina's telecoms sector posted 204.6bn pesos (US$11.7bn) in revenue from January to September, according to telecoms regulator Enacom. Full-year revenue for 2016 was 217.5bn pesos.

Income came mainly from the mobile segment, accounting for 48.5% of sales; pay TV made up 23.2%, fixed broadband 12.7%, open TV 8.1% and fixed telephony 7.5%.

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The third quarter ended with 62.2mn mobile lines and a penetration rate of 141%. Some 88.4% were prepay and the rest postpay.

Of the 14,860 antennas in the country, 47% were 4G and 36% 3G. There were 5.4mn mobile numbers ported in the first nine months of the year.

In terms of fixed internet there were 7.72mn, reaching 56.9% of homes. There were 9.3mn pay TV accesses and 9.8mn fixed lines.

PRICE HIKE

In other news, Argentine mobile operators Claro (América Móvil), Personal (Telecom Argentina) and Movistar (Telefonica) are set to hike their mobile rates by over 12% early next year.

According to local daily La Nación, the hikes will affect 60mn lines. Claro will be the first to implement the measures starting with a 12.5% rise in some prepaid rates beginning January 8, followed by a 12% increase in Personal's prepay and postpay rates on February 5. Movistar will hike rates 12.4% for prepay and 12% for postpay in February.

The mobile market is divided among Claro (21mn subscribers for a 33% share), and Personal and Movistar, both with 20mn subscribers and a 32% share. Nextel, which is controlled by Telecom Argentina, holds the remainder. Telecom Argentina is in the process of merging with Cablevisión Holdings.

The telcos had raised prices twice before this year, with each increase averaging around 12%.

Starting January, telcos will be able to start offering quad play with television services for the first time, making the market more competitive.

Despite having a high penetration rate of mobile broadband services, the country is still playing catch up in terms of investment in network infrastructure due to a lack of spectrum.