Paraguayan mobile operator Hola Paraguay (Vox), which is owned by state-owned telecoms operator Copaco, has seen its emergent 3G subscriber base reach 6,000 after one month of operation. Although Vox’s 3G launch was originally earmarked to take place in September 2011, a series of problems relating to spectrum interference emerged, and commercial services were only inaugurated last month. La Nacion reports that the service is currently limited to subscribers in and around capital, Asuncion, with 3G tariffs starting at PYG40,000 (USD8.72) per month. Vox president Sante Vallese told the newspaper that the cellco is poised to introduce BlackBerry devices to its handset portfolio by the end of this month. Last month Paraguayan regulator Consejo Nacional de Telecomunicaciones (Conatel) confirmed that a total of 271,177 subscribers were using 3G mobile broadband services as at 31 December 2011; while specific operator-centric breakdowns for end-2011 have yet to be made available, TeleGeography notes that Tigo Paraguay dominated the 3G market as at end-June 2011, with 132,889 customers – more than all of its cellular rivals combined.
In other news, La Nacion quotes Copaco head Mario Esquivel as saying that the company’s similarly long-delayed IPTV service is now expected to go live by the end of June, after myriad technical problems. The USD25 million product launch was initially expected to materialise on 15 December 2011, only to run into unspecified problems. A second date, 2 March 2012, also passed without fanfare, although this delay was blamed on premium US TV provider HBO, which deemed Copaco’s IPTV system vulnerable to piracy. As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, Copaco’s new triple-play service will be priced at USD63 per month, with free installation for all customers. Alongside 53 IPTV channels, the telco will also offer a video-on-demand (VoD) service, with movies priced at USD3 apiece.