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Argentina - Communications

The landline telephone system in Argentina was privatised in the 1990s which enabled a rapid modernisation of the system though large numbers of homes do not have a landline service. This is due to the development of the mobile phone market, many of which work out cheaper than a landline.

Two major landline providers are Telefonica and Telecom Argentina, which each provided services for one half of the country, but a recent deregulation means that other companies are now able to offer mobile, landline and internet services. Public telephones are still widely used, with most of them accepting pre-paid cards although there are still some which are coin operated. Argentina also has ‘locutorios’ which are phone centres. Phones are placed in individual booths and the user makes a call and pays a bill at the end.

There are around 50 million mobile telephones in operation in Argentina, as opposed to just over 9 million landlines. Some international mobile phone networks have roaming agreements with Argentine networks but this requires a tri-band phone. The purchase of a mobile phone or sim card from a local provider is recommended for expats moving to the country. Network coverage tends to be good in the towns and cities although it may be intermittent in some remote areas.

Over 16 million people in Argentina are regular users of the internet. Broadband internet is increasing in popularity, though some users still rely on dial-up connections. Internet cafés are springing up everywhere, so it is possible to access internet services even if you do not have your own computer or connection.

Television broadcasting used to be state owned but has now been privatised and cable television is now widely used, giving expats more access to programmes in English, though the majority will be Spanish or dubbed into Spanish. An English-language newspaper is available in Buenos Aires and is aimed at expats.

Argentina’s main postal service is the Correo Central which is supported by a number of smaller, private firms working across the country. Deliveries in some areas may require the use of a post office box, but your local post office will be able to advise you on that when you arrive. Sending letters from Argentina to other parts of the world may be slow, with a letter to Europe often taking up to two weeks to arrive. There is a guaranteed service, which delivers within 24 hours within Argentina and only taking up to five days for a delivery somewhere else in the world.

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