Telefónica pledges to continue testing IPTV despite warnings

23 Aug 2007

Fixed line incumbent Telefónica de Argentina (TdA) has vowed to continue preparing for an IPTV launch despite being warned by the federal broadcasting committee Comfer it is not authorised to do so, reports BNamericas, quoting local newspaper El Cronista. ‘We will continue investing and conducting tests,’ the newspaper quoted the company’s CEO Eduardo Caride as saying. In December last year, Caride told press the company would invest ARS300 million (USD98.4 million) to launch an IPTV service called Speedy TV by the end of 2007, rejecting arguments that the concession TdA inherited from the former state monopoly Entel prohibits it from broadcasting content. Caride argued that TdA would not be broadcasting, but rather allowing broadcasted content to be viewed over its network infrastructure, adding that Argentina should not ignore US, European and Asian trends or it will run the risk of falling behind. He also said it would be unfair to allow cable operators to offer telephony services while telcos are unable to offer television. However, last month Comfer’s head Julio Bárbaro threatened to confiscate TdA’s licence if it goes ahead and launches Speedy TV without authorisation. The government has said it is drafting a new telecommunications law that will allow operators to offer bundled services of TV, voice and internet over a single network, although it is not known when such regulations will be ready, and with forthcoming political elections in October, authorities’ minds are elsewhere.

Argentina, Telefonica Argentina (Movistar)