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Claro Unveils 50 Megabit Internet Service

September 20th, 2011 | 07:44 AM

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Claro, Argentina’s leading cell phone company, is rollling out a new 50 megabit, fiber optic broadband service.

The service is the fastest currently available for Argentine households, Claro said in a statement Tuesday.

“This new technology is already available in 3 de Febrero, Morón, Vicente Lopez, Avellaneda and Berazategui, where it currently offers 1, 3, 5, 10, 30 and 50 megas…,” Claro said.

The announcement comes just days after Grupo Clarin started offering its own 30 megabit service, known as Fibertel Evolution.

Fibertel Evolution uses a fiber optic network to deliver broadband to nodes located around the country and likely in your neighborhood (fiber to the node, or FTTN). The nodes then delivery Internet access to households using traditional coaxil cables. (Read more about Fibertel Evolution here.)

Claro said its “fiber to the home” or FTTH service is 100% fiber optic. Both carriers can increase speeds if demand calls for it.

Claro is expanding its coverage area not just in Greater Buenos Aires but also in Argentina’s interior, where some 300,000 homes already have access to the company’s fiber optic network. Claro’s service also allows for fixed-line telephone plans.

Initially, at least, the service will be limited to the areas listed above, making it a competitor to Fibertel Evolution only in select neighborhoods.

After years in the wilderness of painfully slow Internet access, the race for blazingly fast broadband is finally on in Argentina. Here’s to faster surfing for all!

For more information about Claro’s service, click here. For more about Fibertel Evolution, click here.

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Fibertel Evolution Offering 30M Download Speeds

September 14th, 2011 | 09:19 PM

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Argentina’s Internet service provider, Fibertel, is now offering its new ultra fast 30 megabit download service, making Argentina the third country in Latin America to offer such fast broadband, according to Fibertel.

The new service, called Fibertel Evolution, offers upload speeds of up to 3M, about twice as fast as its previously fastest service.

Fibertel officially launched the service at a hip event in Recoleta on Tuesday, though the brand’s nationwide ad campaign won’t begin until October.

A Fibertel official said the service will cost 300 pesos a month for customers of the company’s cablevision TV service. It will be 450 pesos for everyone else.

Fibertel can increase the download speed to 100M and may eventually do so, depending on how consumer demand evolves in the coming months and years.

Evolution users will have access to exclusive technical support but will be limited to downloading 250G per month. Once that limit is exceeded, Fibertel reserves the right to reduce a user’s bandwidth speed to 6M until the beginning of the next month.

Fibertel invested 150 million pesos ($35.7 million) to build the backbone and infrastructure necessary to host the faster technology, known as Docsis 3.0. The new service relies in part on a new fiber optic network, which connects to household via traditional coaxial cable.

Evolution will initially be available in the City of Buenos Aires, Greater Buenos Aires, Campana, Zárate, La Plata, Santa Fe, Rosario, Córdoba, Paraná and Mar del Plata.

You can sign up for the service here.

If you sign up for Evolution, please share your thoughts about it here in the comments section.

Happy Surfing!

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Netflix Details Its Product Plans for Argentina

September 7th, 2011 | 08:32 PM

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Netflix CEO Reed Hastings provided new details on Wednesday about the company’s online video service in Argentina.

Among other things, Reed said Netflix aims to have all of its TV and movie offerings available in their original languages with subtitles and secondary audio options.

The video streaming company, which already has more than 25 million customers in Canada and the U.S, started streaming in Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay on Wednesday, a day after it launched in Brazil. By the end of next week, Netflix will be offering its service to 43 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.

For a look at why Netflix launched here before doing so in Asia and Europe, check out my article here.

For local readers, the key points are that Netflix will: (more…)

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Netflix Starts Streaming in Argentina on Wednesday

September 5th, 2011 | 08:47 PM

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Netflix, the U.S. film and TV Internet streaming company, will launch its service in Argentina on Wednesday.

The company will charge 39 pesos (about $9.28) a month for unlimited streaming.

Netflix launched its first Latin American service in Brazil on Monday and plans to expand rapidly throughout the region. For more details, click on the company’s official press release here or on Netflix’s blog here.

It’s unclear how much the local service will mirror Netflix in the U.S. Will the same films and TV shows be available or will intellectual property and distribution rights change the online library?

Will TV shows and movies be dubbed or have subtitles or some mix of the two? Will it be possible to view the streaming in HD?  Separately, how will Argentina’s Internet service providers and their relatively slow local bandwidth offerings stand up?

Netflix officials have been in the region studying its Internet infrastructure and are confident the service will work well. Rochelle King, Netflix VP of User Experience and Design, said the following in a blog post:

“We’ve licensed thousands and thousands of hours of feature films, classic favorites, gripping telenovelas, documentaries and kids shows we know you’ll enjoy.  We’ve been testing and figuring out the right internet architecture to make sure the quality and speed of the Netflix streaming experience is the best it can be.  And we’ve been training people locally to deliver the excellent customer support Netflix is known for in the U.S. and Canada.”

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings will be in Buenos Aires on Wednesday to formally launch the service. I’ll be at his press conference. What would you ask him?

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