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Argentina Telecom to invest US$530 Million this year

Date: 5/27/2008 6:40:11 PM

expects total investment this year to reach US$530mn, the Argentine telcos fixed telephony unit marketing manager, Marcelo Ozino Caligaris, told BNamericas.

The executive said 51% of the capex will be oriented to mobile telephony while the other 49% will be earmarked for fixed telephony services.

Last year, Telecom Argentina invested 1.44bn pesos (US$453mn) in its different business segments.

According to the executive, the company expects to see higher Arpu this year in the fixed segment due to the offering of new value-added services. Caligaris said the companys fixed telephony base grew 3% last year.

The company is trying to boost its fixed segment through the launch of several value-added services including fixed SMS and videocall. Telecom Argentina expects to continue expanding the number of Aladino phones that enable clients to use this VAS offering.

The executive added that the Aladino phones have been widely adopted by companies within the SME segment. Aladino wireless digital phones include features such as games, MP3 and SMS.

Commenting on a possible launch of IPTV services, the executive said that during 2008, TEO expects to conduct internal tests. Argentine regulations currently do not allow telecoms operators to offer broadcasting services.

Caligaris also said that Telecom is studying the launch of WiMax technology to offer services in rural areas and closed communities. However, the executive said there are no concrete advances on this issue.

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