Argentina has one of the largest economies and highest overall levels of development in Latin America. It has high levels of education and low infant mortality rates, but also still suffers from extreme poverty,especially after the 2001 economic crisis. As far as ICTs are concerned, Argentina does not have an official policy and is seriously lacking in infrastructure, especially in rural areas. The government regulatory environment is also not conducive to the development of ICTs.
However, despite its many problems with ICTs, Argentina does have a fairly strong telecommunications industry. In 2009, ICTs represented 5.6% of the national GDP. Argentina’s statistics for fixed-line and mobile density, as well as Internet penetration, are the highest in the region. Argentina is considered a “qualified software producer” and the cities of Buenos Aires and Cordoba are home to telecommunications hubs. The FORESTA report that I used for my paper mentions the group “Polo IT Buenos Aires,” which is made up of over 80 domestic SMEs (small and medium enterprises), almost half of which export to 15 different countries. This shows the strength of ICT production in Argentina, especially the fact that the products are high-quality enough to be exported. Mobile-phone subscriptions are increasing rapidly in Argentina, as well as Internet use. In 2009, the number of mobile subscribers in total per 100 inhabitants was 125.6, while the Internet penetration in total per 100 inhabitants was 57.3. Both of these figures show remarkable growth in the last decade. Overall, the telecommunications industry is strong, especially in urban areas such as Buenos Aires and Cordoba where businesses cooperate with universities and the government.
Most of the information concerning Argentina’s telecommunications industry can be found in the FORESTA report, pages 58-65.