Telefonica Argentina negotiating fixed line rate rise

24 Oct 2008

Dow Jones Newswires reports that Argentine telco Telefonica de Argentina (TdA) is negotiating with the government for approval to raise its fixed line rates by between 12% and 15%. Fixed line telephone rates have been frozen since Argentina’s 2002 financial meltdown. According to local daily El Cronista, Luis Rodriguez Zarco, TdA’s director of investor relations, said he expects the company will be given permission to raise rates by February 2009 at the latest. Officials of the company are also said to have also discussed with the government the possibility of TdA (and other telcos) being allowed to offer triple-play voice, data and television services. Argentinean law prevents telcos from offering such services, but allows cablecos to do so. The cablecos have been lobbying against allowing telecoms to provide TV services, particularly media giant Grupo Clarin, which has plans to launch IP-based telephony services based through its cable TV unit Cablevision by year-end. No additional information was given.