Tag Archive | "Arsat"

Argentine State Company to Own 20% of Mobile Phone Sector


Minister of Planning Julio De Vido, announced last night that the state owned company, Argentine Company of Satellite Solutions, (Arsat) will take control of 20.1% of 3G mobile services.

“This is going to open up the market and will generate competition,” said De Vido, “Argentines are sick of monopolies.”

The government cancelled a tender that it had put out for companies to operate 25% of the mobile phone frequencies in Argentina. Of the five companies that bid for the contract, only Claro met Argentina’s financial requirements, Claro is a part of Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim’s business empire America Movil.

De Vido insisted that, “it is not a state takeover.” Instead it is a precaution against “anything that causes a situation in which companies, which maybe today don’t have a monopoly as service providers, end up becoming [monopolies],” he said.

The original tender was put out to control 25% of the country’s mobile phone business, Arsat will take control of 20.1% . Argentina’s US$14bn mobile phone market is currently controlled by America Movil’s Claro, Telecom Italia’s Personal, and Teelfonica’s Movistar.

Besides Claro, Nextel Communications Argentina and Telecom Argentina, indirectly controlled by Telecom Italia, and two local groups submitted bids for the tender.

De Vido said letting Claro win, “would have led to more concentration.”

Arsat is already building three new satellites in the country and with the government’s help, small companies will now find it easier to become internet providers in parts of the countries that are typically controlled by only one or two major corporations. This means consumers will have access to more choice when it comes to accessing the web or using cell phones.

The government is also studying ways in reducing monopoly control in telecommunications business, according to De Vido.

President Cristina Fernández has been internationally criticized recently for increasing state control over many businesses including nationalizing the leading energy company YPF, the main airline, and billions of dollars in private pension funds.

However, De Vido was persistent in making clear that the government has no intention of taking over the 3G mobile services in Argentina.

Posted in Current Affairs, News From Argentina, News Round Ups, Round Ups ArgentinaComments (0)


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