The gaucho is an Argentine icon. Brave, skillful and cunning, these Latin cowboys have ruled the plains of South America for centuries. And in the mobile world, we’ve seen one operator show enough horse sense to lasso two of our mobile network experience awards. Claro’s growth has been the highlight of our analysis in our latest State of Mobile Networks: Argentina report, as the operator has come from a fairly distant third place to win two awards, while it showed the greatest improvements of all operators across most of our other categories.
Claro managed to gallop ahead in the close-run race for 3G download speed, with a gain of over 13% to win our award following a tie with Personal six months ago. Claro also rounded up our 4G upload speed award with a score of 6.2 Mbps, following a fall in previous winner Personal’s score of nearly 14% to 5.5 Mbps.. But Argentina’s other mobile wranglers Personal and Movistar have also made gains, notably in 4G availability where all three operators have now passed the 75% post.
In our latest Argentina report we continued to see steady signs of improvement across our metrics, while competition between the operators increased. Our mobile experience awards were shared fairly equally between the country’s three national players, as Personal held onto three awards while Claro and Movistar won two each.
Personal’s 4G download speed score stayed fairly static over the past six months at 16.9 Mbps, but the operator still remains nearly 5 Mbps ahead of its rivals. Movistar’s 4G download score stayed virtually stagnant while Claro saw the greatest improvement in this category, meaning there is now hardly any light between the two runners-up.
Personal kept our national 4G availability award with an impressive score of 84%, a canter forward of nearly 2 percentage points in the last six months. Movistar showed a slight growth in its score, while Claro increased its 4G availability by nearly 8 percentage points to reach 76.9% in our measurements. This means all three of Argentina’s operators have now passed the 75% mark in our availability analysis, and their scores were even more impressive in Argentina’s largest cities, as Personal managed to top 90% LTE availability in Córdoba.
In our latency awards, Movistar kept its hold on both categories, seeing a slight improvement in its 4G latency score to reach 47.8 milliseconds. Claro also saw a small boost in its score, but Personal saw a depreciation of over 8 ms to fall some way behind the other two in our 4G latency measurements.
Despite the improvements in our scores, ongoing economic uncertainty in Argentina is casting a shadow over the telecoms sector, as planned investment is postponed while Movistar parent Telefónica has reportedly cancelled a planned IPO of its fixed-line unit. We’ll be keeping a close eye on this and all the other key developments as we continue our analysis of the Argentine mobile market in 2019.
What’s your take on the improvements we’ve tracked in Argentina’s mobile experience in 2018? Do you think the operators can maintain this growth next year? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter.