America Movil, Mexico’s telecommunications giant, recently got the regulatory approval of ENACOM – National Communications Agency of Argentina to start pay television operations in the South American country. Already, America Movil has wireline and wireless operations in Argentina. The approval from ENACOM will allow America Movil to provide audio-visual services through any platform.
Previously, players in the telecommunications sector were prohibited from offering pay television services in the South America country. This changed after regulatory changes were made by the government last year. Consequently various telecommunication firms in Argentina are changing their status with a view to entering the pay televisions space.
Investment opportunities in Argentina
Incumbent telecom operators such as Telecom Argentina SA TEO and Telefonica SA TEF are eyeing Argentina’s pay television space. DirecTV, which is owned by the American telecommunication giant, AT&T, already offers mobile broadband and pay television services in the South American country.
Last year in May the owner of America Movil, Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, met the president of Argentina, Mauricio Macri, with a view to assessing investment opportunities in Telecentro, a cable firm based in Buenos Aires and Arsat, the state-owned telecommunications operator. This may lead to America Movil purchasing a stake in Arsat and Refefo Federal Fibre-Optic Network.
America Movil’s forays outside its domestic market come at a time when it is facing increasingly intense competition in Mexico. There is also increased regulatory scrutiny. Three years ago the Mexican government through the telecom sector’s regulatory body, Federal Telecommunications Institute, introduced reforms in the sector which sought to cap the maximum market share that a firm could have to 50%. These reforms have seen Federal Telecommunications Institute prohibit America Movil from levying national roaming fees. Additionally, America Movil will be required to share with other operators its infrastructure.
Besides the investments America Movil is eyeing in Argentina, the telecommunications giant is also launching a Spanish-language television channel in the U.S. known as Nuestra Vision which will be aimed at Mexican audiences. The channel is expected to be unveiled later in the year. It will be telecast by Publicidad y Contenido Editorial, a unit of the Mexican telecommunications giant.
The developments come a little over a week since America Movil revealed that it had reach a deal to dispose of a 30% interest in a couple of soccer clubs it owns in Mexico. These clubs include Leon and Pachuca, the oldest team in the North American country.