Argentina’s telecommunications ministry, Secretaria de Comunicaciones (SeCom), has granted a mobile network operator licence to triple-play provider Telecentro. According to a report by local daily La Nacion, the cable company will be able to bid for frequencies to provide wireless services in the government’s upcoming auction of 850MHz spectrum, scheduled to take place later in the year. Telecentro, which is owned by businessman Alberto Pierri, began operations in San Justo in 1991 and launched the country’s first triple-play package of fixed telephony, cable TV and broadband internet in Buenos Aires in the second quarter of 2008. The mobile licence could enable the cableco, which currently has around 550,000 revenue generating units (RGUs), to become the country’s first provider of quad-play services.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Argentina’s wireless market is currently home to four mobile network operators: market leader Claro Argentina, which is owned by Mexico’s America Movil and had a market share of 34.3% at 30 September 2010; Spain’s Telefonica Comunicaciones Personales (32.2%); Telecom Personal, the mobile arm of fixed line incumbent Telecom Argentina (31.3%); and US-owned iDEN operator Nextel Argentina (2.2%). Meanwhile, telecoms cooperative associations Fecotel and Fecosur have brought additional competition to the market through the launch of mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) services.