Argentina’s authorities published guidelines intended to deliver more competition in the country’s telecoms sector.
As part of the process, watchdog Enacom said that “within no more than six months” it will call for a spectrum auction. The intention is to create the conditions for the entry of new mobile operators into the market, as well as allocating new frequencies to improve the quality of services.
Argentina currently has three big mobile operators – America Movil (Claro), Telefonica (Movistar) and Telecom Argentina (Personal). Also present is Clarin, which is a small mobile player through the former Nextel business, but is a significant force in the cable market via its Cablevision unit.
Enacom also said procedures will be adopted to enable the reallocation of frequencies assigned for other services to “wireless or fixed wireless services with LTE or higher technology”.
Mobile is not the only area covered: the new regime also paves the way for telecoms companies to provide cable TV services, and authorises satellite television companies to offer internet services (if they have the required permits). This will pave the way for multiplay services, as the various players look to move into their adjacent markets.
The guidelines are designed to “encourage investments in new technologies to bring high-speed internet to the whole country”, Enacom said. It is looking to ensure an investment framework that “protects the deployment of infrastructure for 15 years in last-mile networks”.
The new guidelines also covers areas such as interconnect fees and policies for new entrants.