Argentina - Country Commercial Guide
Information and Communications Technology

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.

Last published date: 2021-11-09

The Government of Argentina announced its ICT priorities for 2020-2023 in its Plan ConectAR, which includes improved 4G connectivity with an eye towards 5G deployment through better satellite and fiber optic coverage, reduction of the digital divide for rural and poor areas, expansion of digital television, and the use of cloud computing technology by the government. Currently, Argentina has 4G coverage for 93 percent of the country’s population. The recent health crisis has highlighted the need to strengthen the existing 4G network and expand it throughout the country. For example, home schooling in rural areas has posed a challenge during the COVID-19 lockdown. A 5G spectrum allocation auction is possible in 2022-2023. However, according to GSMA (Groupe Spécial Mobile Association, an industry association for the digital sector), Argentina may only reach 5G deployment to 9 percent of the country by 2025.

IT Hardware and Consumables                                                  Unit: Millions US$

 

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021 (estimated)

Total Market Size

6,087

7,001

8,050

5,134

5,577

Total Local Production

1,367

1,809

2,000

1,700

1,800

Total Exports

50.50

55

75

66

73

Total Imports

4,770

5,247

6,125

3,500

3,850

Imports from the U.S.*

15%

18%

20%

20%

20%

Argentine Chamber of Software and IT Services Companies (CESSI) reported that 70 percent of companies in Argentina plan to invest in ICT for the following reasons:Total Market Size = (Total Local Production + Total Imports) – (Total Exports) Data Sources: Total Local Production: Unofficial estimates based on industry reports; Total Imports & Exports: Nosis/Exi-Net export/import database; Imports from U.S.: Unofficial estimates based on Nosis/Exi-Net export/import database

  • Current systems need upgrades
  • Increased complexity and convergence of technologies
  • Increased demand for cyber security platforms
  • Only 45 percent of companies are content with their online presence

Sub-Sector Best Prospects:

Telecom Infrastructure

In the telecom sector, investments focus on four areas: deployment and enhancement of the 4G+LTE network; expansion of broadband Internet access; expansion of data transmission/broadband and content over cellular networks; and satellite services (for remote and rural areas of the country). 5G deployment is still a distant reality in Argentina, given the current status of the fiber optic network required for 5G operational implementation. The current fiber optic network covers more than 33,000 km with 85 percent of the fiber “lit” (active), but many localities are still in the dark and Internet speed is 15 percent lower than regional peers. The Federal Internet Plan network will use state-owned telecommunications and satellite company ARSAT’s fiber optic network as a provider of data transport services at a wholesale level and offer access to local internet service providers, co-ops, municipalities, and SMEs. The Argentine government is implementing a cloud first policy by investing in and developing a robust national datacenter at ARSAT.

IT Services

IT Services offer opportunities for U.S. companies in network implementation, management and maintenance, legacy applications, wireless LANs, RTE (real-time infrastructure) implementation, remote operation processing, back-up, critical mission services, disaster recovery systems, Internet and network security systems, document digitalization, digital asset management, storage, utility computing, and information systems for rural areas. Cloud computing and virtualization-related services will continue to have high demand in 2022. The outsourcing of software development and call/contact centers continues to see new investments, exports, and increased sales in the domestic market. Other market conditions will foster growth in IT services, such as the increased use of e-banking, e-commerce, and e-government, which have increased awareness related to information technology security.

Cybersecurity

Argentine companies invested more than US$50 million in cybersecurity in 2020, which represents a 5 percent annual increase. Additionally, 70 percent of Argentine companies plan to invest in cybersecurity over the next four years. Despite the recent growth of the local cybersecurity market, this is just the initial stage of maturity. In general terms, cybersecurity technology adoption is between two to three years behind more mature markets. Some of the leading sectors for cybersecurity investment in Argentina include banking, energy (oil & gas), telecommunications, manufacturing, and retail.

Opportunities

The Argentine government will continue investing in infrastructure and improving the country’s long delayed implementation of FTTH (Fiber To The Home). The state-owned company, ARSAT, continues to connect over 1,200 towns in the country with their main fiber network, with an estimated investment of US$30 million in the next 18 months.

According to the Argentine Investment Agency, the expansion of cell and broadband Internet coverage in Argentina represents an investment opportunity of US$5 billion. Mobile phone penetration is high, but coverage is not uniform across the country and is often poor due to insufficient cell tower coverage (15,000 active cell sites).

Web Resources                                                                                                  

Argentine Chamber of Software and IT Services Companies (CESSI) (Spanish)

For additional information, including market analysis, trade events, contacts, and the products and services that the U.S. Commercial Service can provide to help you succeed in the Argentine market, please contact Marina Millet, Industry Specialist.