Telecom Argentina became the first Argentine telco to deploy 5G network in the South American country, putting into operation ten mobile antennas that enable using this service through DSS (Dynamic Spectrum Sharing) technology. Its 5G services are now available in Buenos Aires City and Rosario City in Santa Fe Province, two of the country’s main urban centers.
Huawei and Nokia are Telecom’s technology partners in these first steps of the 5G network in Argentina, and both companies have supported Telecom Argentina in a series of trials and demos since 2018.
The 5G network is a major platform for the telecom industry’s evolution, especially the development of IoT (Internet of Things), mainly due to its features of high speed of response (100 times higher speed than browsing over the 4G network), low latency, and support for multiple devices connected at the same time.
Telecom CEO Roberto Nobile commented, “2020 was a pivotal year for everyone – it was demonstrated that the future is built on information technology. At Telecom, we were up to the challenge and did our best to keep Argentines connected, enabling them to continue working, studying and getting entertainment from their homes. We invested heavily to transform our mobile network into the best 4G network in the country.”
“Now we are taking our connectivity efforts to the next level by turning on the first 5G network in Argentina. 5G technology is the future of our industry, and it will also be a driver of the country’s growth and the development of essential infrastructure for the digital economy. With 5G technology, the country’s economy will become more competitive, which is vital because companies will make investment decisions based on the availability of this technology.”
Smart cities, IoT, connected homes and cars, home automation and artificial intelligence are some of the innovations that will gain momentum with 5G technology in the coming years. As an integrator of end-to-end solutions, this technology will allow Telecom to reinforce its position as an IoT connectivity provider, developing value propositions not only for business but also for connected families and smart cities.
Telecom Argentina is at the forefront of technology and innovation
Telecom has been a pioneer in experimenting with 5G technology, preparing for when the technical and regulatory conditions necessary for the full deployment of the service are in place. Since 2018, the company has been conducting various trials with its technology partners Huawei and Nokia with regard the deployment of 5G. The preparation not only requires ‘turning on’ 5G base stations to ensure good service, but also the current 4G network is being improved in terms of coverage, availability and capacity. Today Telecom’s 4G network has coverage in 95 percent of the country’s population and the 4.5G upgrade is active in 100 percent of the 4G network.
The launch of the 5G network is the result of a business transformation that the company has undertaken based on three strategic pillars: networks, with the latest technology available to become future-proof; IT infrastructure, upgrading all systems with world-class partners to be at the forefront of the industry; and its mindset, the way it understands business to make it sustainable in the medium and long term, aligned with global trends regardless of the circumstances.
“Our vision is to go beyond connectivity,” says Nobile. “That is why we started on a journey of technological and cultural transformation to position ourselves as an ecosystem of platforms and services that leverage on that connectivity as a competitive advantage to continue evolving our products and services, focusing on the digital and convergent experience of our customers. This transformation we are implementing with a rapid pace allows us to evolve further, not only to face the challenges of today but also to anticipate the changes of tomorrow, in an increasingly interconnected and digital world.”
This evolution is the result of the company’s intensive investment activity in infrastructure and systems—an investment that over the past four years amounted to more than $4.3 billion. It is important to note that the company not only provides connectivity and entertainment solutions in Argentina, its footprint also extends to other Latin American countries. In Paraguay, Telecom provides mobile services and on-demand TV and pay and on-demand TV in Uruguay. The telco is also expanding its digital transformation and the evolution of its products and services to its operations in those countries.
This journey of business evolution Telecom has embarked on, which has continued through the health emergency introduced by the Covid-19 pandemic, has been partly possible due to the confidence of the national and international market in the company’s credit soundness and business strategy.
In 2020, the company’s strategy received the support of various multilateral organisations and international and national financial institutions, which enabled it to optimise its capital structure through the issuance and exchange of negotiable obligations, the refinancing of loans, and the granting of new credit facilities for the deployment of infrastructure and digital transformation projects.