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Argentina To Launch First WiMAX Network In Latin America

Millicom Argentina has teamed up with Alvarion and Intel to launch what is being touted as the first WiMAX network in Latin America. The service will be launched in urban, suburban and rural areas in Argentina.

Millicom officials tell the Networking Pipeline that it has over 60 fixed broadband wireless base stations deployed throughout the country. In this initial launch phase, the company is only considering the trial deployment of WiMAX technology on "a couple" of these base stations. The plans for next year are to replace and install more than 100 WiMAX base stations. The company will deploy the technology in both underdeveloped rural areas and highly populated urban areas.

"There are benefits in deploying the technology in both scenarios in developing countries like Argentina where lack of infrastructure in underdeveloped areas and the advantage of mobility and bandwidth in urban areas add a lot of value," an official said.

The company has invested approximately $300,000 in the 2004 trial so far. It has not yet disclosed its 2005 deployment investment plans.

According to the Argentinian analyst firm, Convergencia Research, the country had 332,100 broadband subscribers (with ADSL accounting for 55 percent, Cable 38 percent and Wireless 7 percent) as of April of 2004. This is up from 281,112 in December. The analysts project a 75 percent annual growth rate in broadband lines through 2004.

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