Argentine telecommunications company Iplan is pushing ahead with a deployment rate that will allow it to close next year with more than 1mn homes passed with fiber optics in four cities.
The company started out as a corporate provider focused on medium-sized businesses but now 15% of revenues come from the residential segment. It offers broadband through fiber optics and will incorporate new services for this segment.
It also opened its infrastructure so that other providers can use it under the wholesale model.
It recently began offering over-the-top TV through an alliance with DirecTV and the next move will be security and home automation services.
BNamericas interviewed Iplan’s CEO, Damián Maldini, about his plans for network deployment, new services and investments.
BNamericas: How are you progressing with the infrastructure expansion?
Maldini: We now have four cities with large networks: CABA [Buenos Aires city], Córdoba, Rosario and [San Miguel de] Tucumán.
Tucumán is the most recent: we just started providing services there this month. The first stage involved 200 blocs. In the next 30 to 60 days we will enable another 200.
In Tucumán we are going to follow the same logic as we did in Buenos Aires, Córdoba and Rosario. We are building in the downtown area with the highest density of homes.
If all goes well, by the end of next year we will have a million homes passed in these four cities.
There are actually more, but a million are those that are ready to be connected within a maximum period of 24 hours, which is how long the commercial process takes.
We should have 10 times more network compared to four years ago.
In the corporate field, we are also doing extensions. We are now going to cover the area of Vicente López [Buenos Aires province] and in Tucumán we also have aerial lines for corporate areas.
This is the fifth year that we have an investment between US$15mn and 20mn for network deployment. The idea is to keep this pace.
BNamericas: Argentina has restrictions on access to dollars and imports. Has this presented any difficulties?
Maldini: Until now, no, there were no difficulties in accessing equipment. Yes, there is bureaucracy due to the…