Telefónica to lease 7,400km ARSAT fibre-optic network

Telefónica Argentina has signed a service agreement with ARSAT, enabling it to access the operator's infrastructure to increase its broadband capacity.

The contract, believed to be worth as much as $100 million per annum, according to media outlet Clarin, will enable Telefónica to boost fixed and wireless services and accelerate its tower deployment in the country.

The 7,400km Red Federal de Fibra Óptica (Refefo) network that Telefónica will lease will cover low connectivity areas, where broadband penetration is less than 10%. These are located in the provinces of Santa Cruz, Chubut, Río Negro, Mendoza, Neuquén, San Juan, Santiago del Estero, Chaco, Jujuy, Misiones and Buenos Aires.

Rodrigo de Loredo, president of ARSAT, said the state-owned firm is helping to bridge the digital divide by connecting its network with private operators and cooperatives.

An ARSAT press release adds that is “complementing the private sector's cable installations so that private investments can be channelled toward developing towers and improving telephone services”.

The operator intends to use the network to extend its reach into underserved areas and also to provide cellular backhaul for its Movistar wireless unit.

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