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Cablevision Argentina’s High-speed Internet Plans

February 7th, 2013 | 07:40 PM

A couple of weeks ago I interviewed Cablevisión CEO Carlos Moltini for my day job. You can read all about it here.

The article looks at Cablevisión’s investment plans and sheds light on how Argentina’s political context is affecting the company. For example, government import barriers forced the company to temporarily stop offering WiFi modems and other equipment last year.

But one thing that didn’t make it into the published article was the company’s plans for its high-speed Internet service, Fibertel.

Moltini said Cablevisión plans to raise its popular 6-megabit broadband service to 10-megabits, possibly as early as March though no date has been set. That’s good news for most surfers those who feel the need for speed.

Fans of the company’s high-end broadband product, Evolution, which offers 30-megabit download speeds, may not be so pleased, however, since the company has no plans to increase the speed.

Moltini said that while Cablevisión has the technical capacity to raise speeds to 100MB, Argentina’s market simply doesn’t demand higher velocities. Argentine companies and consumers don’t yet use enough video and other multimedia products to warrant flying at a faster pace.

So while Evolution has been a big breakthrough for Argentines wanting to surf the Internet at a quicker clip, the country’s speedsters will have to keep waiting before they can browse, download and stream as fast as people can in Asia, the U.S. and Europe.

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Argentine Vice President Boudou uses an iPhone

April 3rd, 2012 | 06:23 PM

As you may know, Argentina bans iPhone imports because Apple won’t produce them in the country. I wrote about this for The Wall Street Journal here.

But as I’ve noted before, the import ban hasn’t stopped some of Argentina’s top officials from using the world’s most popular smartphone themselves. For previous evidence of that click here.

In today’s post you can see that even Argentina’s vice president, Amado Boudou, uses an iPhone. As you can see from the screen grab above, Boudou, a big Apple fan, used an iPhoto to post to Twitter. Ironically, the above Tweets are about imports. In one, he criticizes people for complaining about a “lack” of goods, saying that people who do this have political motives.

Says Boudou: “Argentina is open to the world but let’s not destroy the local industry” with imports.

HT to Facebook user Javier Mondini for catching this. You can follow Boudou on Twitter here.

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Argentina’s iPhone Problem

February 21st, 2012 | 07:11 AM

Many of you know that Argentina has banned the iPhone.

The government hasn’t prohibited its use but instead has blocked imports of the world’ most popular smartphone.

I wrote an article for The Wall Street Journal about the issue. You can read it here.

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Some Argentine Officials are Big Apple Fans

January 25th, 2012 | 07:05 PM

Vice President Amado Boudou appears to be a big Apple fan.

In this photo you can see him meeting with Economy Minister Hernan Lorenzino.

But if you’re an Apple geek what you’ll notice about the picture is that Boudou’s desk is full of Apple products. He’s got 1) a big iMac 2) a wireless Apple keyboard 3) a wireless Apple touch mouse and 4) and iPhone 4 or 4S (bottom of the photo, implying it may belong to Lorenzino).

Boudou is also using a LaCie portable hard drive, which is made specifically for Apple computers.

These products are expensive and can be hard to find in Argentina. Indeed, the government banned iPhone imports a long time ago, forcing Argentines to get them from MercadoLibre or somewhere else.

The import restrictions have also made it hard for local Apple resellers to honor the company’s international AppleCare warranty. Dealers here can’t import the parts needed to fix Apple products. This has been very frustrating for some Apple owners, including many readers of this blog.

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Claro Unveils 50 Megabit Internet Service

September 20th, 2011 | 07:44 AM

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

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

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

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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Fibertel Behind Schedule With Faster Internet Plans

August 10th, 2011 | 09:41 PM

Argentina’s leading cable TV provider, Cablevisión, has fallen behind on plans to launch its new ultra-fast Internet service.

A Cablevisión official had said back in February that it planned to increase download speeds by up to 10 times in the first half of 2011.

But we’re now in the second half of the year and Cablevisión’s Internet unit, Fibertel, still doesn’t know when it will be able to offer the service.

Fibertel plans to offer the faster service by deploying the DOCSIS 3.0 modem technology already used in the U.S.

But a Fibertel official said no deployment date is available.

That raises questions about how ready Argentina will be for the planned arrival of Netflix, the video streaming company, which said it will offer its service in Argentina by the end of the year. Netflix requires fast Internet access, especially for HD content.

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Want Something from Abroad? Hire a Mule!

March 18th, 2011 | 05:40 AM

Have you ever wanted something that you just couldn’t find in Argentina?

Ever been jonesing for some pancake mix or syrup or some cool item like an iPad 2, a Zoom microphone or a Canon EF 55mm lens?

The Mule Pool hopes to be your solution.

The Mule Pool is an online exchange that connects buyers with travelers (mules) so you can get what you want. You pay a mule to bring it to you. Or, say you’re traveling and want to make some extra cash. You could mule something back for somebody else. How does it work?

1) You tell The Mule Pool what you want.
2) Mules review open requests and determine how they can help.
3) You (the buyer) put your money into an escrow account. The Mule Pool guards the money until it’s sure your product was delivered.
4) You arrange to meet the mule.
5) Once you confirm to The Mule Pool that transaction has been carried out, the mule gets paid. (more…)

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Listen to, Record Argentine Radio on Your iPhone

March 5th, 2011 | 06:36 AM

A stellar new iPhone App lets you listen to and record your favorite radio shows in Argentina.

The Radio Argentina App, created by 24/7 iPhone Apps, is easy to use. You can listen to and record live radio or even configure the App to work as a radio alarm.

You can also program it to record shows for you on a timer.

This is a perfect tool for journalists or anyone else who wants or needs to listen to news radio shows, etc.

The App can even display song names while you’re streaming music to your phone.

The company was kind enough to give away 10 free Apps to Argentine Post readers.

If you’d like a free one, just send an email to me taos@argentinepost.com.

Or click here and buy it for US 99 cents on iTunes.

Here are some of the App’s features:

✔ Alarm Clock
✔ Sleep Timer
✔ Search by radio name
✔ Graphic Equalizer
✔ Favorites list
✔ History of last played stations
✔ Regular updates over the air
✔ Customer service support
✔ Song title and artist name (when available)
✔ iPhone 4 Retina Display icon
✔ Recording
✔ Facebook & Twitter support
✔ Advanced Alarm Manager – Multiple Alarms, Day Selection, iPod music / Radio station and more
✔ Transfer Recordings to your computer with iTunes USB File Sharing (iOS 4.x)
✔ “Wifi only” On/Off switch (setting can be found in the main setting app under Radio
✔ Airplay support (Tested on Apple TV)
✔ YouTube clip for the currently playing song
✔ Automatic recordings: set an alarm to start a recording

 

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Fibertel to Offer Super Fast Internet in First Half 2011

February 3rd, 2011 | 06:24 AM

By Taos Turner @taos on Twitter

Argentina’s leading cable TV provider, Cablevisión, plans to launch a new ultra-fast Internet service in the first half of 2011.

The plan, which the company confirmed late Wednesday, will offer customers of its Fibertel Internet service download speeds that are up to 10 times faster than what they are currently.

As reported here last year, Fibertel will offer the faster service by deploying the DOCSIS 3.0 modem technology already used in the U.S.

Price information is not yet available.

The service will make it much easier to download or stream HD video and engage in hi-resolution video conferences. (more…)

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