Communications in Uruguay

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Contents

Telecommunications and Broadcast Networks

Telephones - main lines in use: 965,200 (2007)

Telephones - mobile cellular: 3,004,323 (2007)

Telephone system: some modern facilities
domestic: most modern facilities concentrated in Montevideo; new nationwide microwave radio relay network
international: satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)

Radio broadcast stations: AM 94, FM 115, shortwave 14 (seven are inactive) (1998)

Radios: 1.97 million (1997)

Television broadcast stations: 62 (plus ten low-power repeaters for the Montevideo station) (2005)

Televisions: 782,000 (1997)

Country code (Top level domain): UY

Internet

Internet users: 968,000 (2007)

Internet Hosts: 480,593 (2007)

Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 5 (1999)

In Uruguay, you can access the Internet mainly by using:

  • DSL services, provided by the state owned telco company (ANTEL).
  • One of the different Wireless ISP (which have a tendency to be more expensive because of high taxation and radio spectrum licenses costs).
  • There are no access to the internet by means of Cable TV companies as of 2008 in its largest cities or at Uruguay's capital, Montevideo.
  • As an option, some shopping malls and other commercial business offer WiFi access at their location.
  • Cyber cafes are very common throughout the whole country, and very inexpensive (from about U$S 0.4 an hour).
  • 3G mobile internet is offered by all the mobile phone companies with rates of up to 3 Mbit/s. The 3G rates are similar to ADSL rates.
  • Slower mobile internet service (EDGE and GPRS) is also offered by all mobile phone companies at very low flat rates.

ADSL in Uruguay

ANTEL, a telco company owned by the government, charges around U$S 50 a month (about U$S 600 a year) for a 1024 kbit/s/128 kbit/s ADSL service. That is one of the most expensive DSL services in the region (which includes Argentina, Brazil and Chile), while wages in Uruguay might be lower than in said countries. Also, the services dynamically changes the IP address of the customer every 12 hours, making it difficult to use for tele-working. Antel enjoys a monopoly in the basic telephony area, and has successfully prevented other competitors (such as Cable companies) from entering the Internet service provider business. ISP are then forced to use other technologies, such as radio, to get to customers. Usually, the taxation and licensees for radio spectrum are also very expensive, in a way to artificially not allow these ISP to be cost competitive with Antel DSL service.

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