Pay-TV, mobile video boost Argentina's comms market

Gabriel Miramar-Garcia | 27-09-2013

The Argentinean telecom and pay-TV market generated $15.2 billion in service revenue in 2012, and is expected to grow to an estimated $15.6 billion in 2013, a 2.1% year-on-year growth, according to Pyramid Research.

The mobile voice and data segments alone generated 58.3% of the total revenue of the sector in 2012, while the pay-TV and fixed broadband segments accounted for 16.5% and 12.6%, respectively. Moving forward, Pyramid expects mobile data to continue increasing its weight over the total market revenue to become the largest revenue contributor by 2016.
The Argentinean telecom sector faces important regulatory challenges if it wants to fully unleash its growth potential however. One of the most critical issues in Argentina's regulatory agenda for 2013 is granting operators access to additional 3G and 4G spectrum, as well as enforcing more measures to encourage competition across all segments. An LTE auction has been delayed, for instance.
Mobile data is nonetheless expected to surpass mobile voice as the largest revenue contributor in Argentina in 2016, driven by a rapid uptake of smartphones encouraged by telecom operators with aggressive subsidies, according to the research firm. And that, in turn, is largely driven by uptake in video services.
"In 2012, mobile data services accounted for 42.8% of the total service revenue generated by operators compared with 38.3% a year earlier," said Eulalia Marín-Sorribes, senior analyst at Pyramid Research.
Telecom Personal, which has been very active in encouraging smartphone adoption, is currently the operator with the highest data revenue ratio in the market at 52.3% in 2012.
"The proliferation of smartphones has contributed to changed data consumption patterns among mobile phone subscribers," said Marín-Sorribes. "The use of mobile email, social network platforms and OTT mobile apps, such as Whatsapp, has grown rapidly, boosting data traffic growth. As a result, and following the global trend, SMS traffic has started to decline, decreasing progressively."