“The Mobile Broadband is helping to reduce the digital divide by improving access to the Internet in Argentina”, said Sebastian Cabello, Director of GSMA Latin America at the Communications, Internet and Technology Congress and Exhibition (TICs 2011) held in Buenos Aires between August 23 and 25.
Argentina has an unmet demand for Internet services as there is a gap between the 24.9 million Internet users and 7.4 million Fixed and Mobile broadband connections in the first quarter of 2011 (Source: Wireless Intelligence). The connections via 3G HSPA already exceed the cable and ADSL connections as the main way that Argentinians are connected to the Internet.
According to the GSMA LA Director, Mobile Broadband will work as “the engine that will allow the spread” of Internet access in the country and the achievement of the objectives of public policies in TICs of the Argentina Connected Plan.
“Because the mobile solution is easier, faster and significantly cheaper to deploy than fixed technology, is considered a viable solution to reduce the digital divide and bring broadband services to everyone,” said the leader of the GSM Association in Latin America and added that government plans should have the mobile broadband as a key element.
In order to promote the growth of mobile Internet, Cabello stressed “the need for spectrum allocation to provide more capacity, improve coverage and ensure the operators” investments that will have a positive impact in the economic development, education, job creation and reducing social barriers. Argentina is expected to contest on spectrum bands 850 and 1900 MHz by the end of the year and the band 1.7-2.1GHzby mid-2012.
In this sense, TICs 2011, presented the study “Social and Economic Benefits of the Digital Dividend” of Dr. Raul Katz, Director of Business Strategy Studies at Columbia Business School, which demonstrated the desirability of allocating the 700 MHz band to mobile broadband in comparison with allocating it to other options such as broadcasting.