The reasons why the use of landlines still survives in Neuquén

Are landlines still in use in Neuquén? Despite the migration for more than a decade towards cell phones and the possibility of communicating via Whatsapp, fixed telephony survives against all odds throughout Neuquén territory.

50% of the active lines are held by a single company, which is Telefónica Argentina, and the rest is divided among the users who have local cooperatives, such as in San Martín de los Andes, Centenario and Cutral Co, among others.

The trend from 2011 to the present is downward with 40% fewer lines throughout the country, according to data from the National Communications Entity (Enacom). And in this sense, the province of Neuquén is no exception.

According to the statistics of that national body, the number of accesses to fixed telephony was 72,617 in the province, during the last quarter of 2021. Neuquén has 1.05% of the number of telephone lines, in relation to the entire country. The first is the province of Buenos Aires, with 46.1% and in second place, CABA with 19.2% of telephones.

The drop in the number of fixed telephony connections comes from the replacement of copper lines to fiber optics, with the development of high-speed internet, added to the change in habits and use of technology.

Centennial Telephone Cooperative CTC.

The Telefónica Centenario cooperative has 11,800 fixed lines. One of the highest in Neuquén.

It is that the fixed telephone has been reserved for the State and businesses, although many of the home lines come with the internet package, especially in the cooperatives in the interior of the province.

According to Enacom data, in 2018 there were 88,029 active telephone lines in Neuquén, of which 77,481 were home lines, 6,476 commercial, and in government departments. The data contrasts with the last quarter of 2021, which went to 72,617 lines, 17.5% less, with a loss of 15,412 accesses to fixed telephony during the last three years.

From 2015 to 2018 there was a jump in the number of fixed lines in Neuquén, which went from 85,309 to 88,029, that is, 2,720 more lines. But after that period, the figure decreased remarkably.

In the whole country there are currently 6,903,068 fixed lines, almost the same number as in 2013. In three years, from 2013 to 2016, the networks expanded and reached a peak of 10.2 million in 2016, but then began to drop drastically.

The most striking fact is that half of the landlines in Neuquén are in the hands of cooperatives and the main telephone operator.

Neuquén data

According to the information obtained by LM Neuquén, Telefónica Argentina has 36,120 active telephone lines in the province, while the rest is distributed among operators and cooperatives in the interior.

For example, the Cooperativa Telefónica Centenario (CTC) has 11,800 fixed telephones in the town, divided into “member lines” which are the oldest and the owners of lines that form a corporate part of the CTC, and another part, today the majority, of “client lines”.

“Landlines are in disuse, but the big people in the farm area, where there is no good cell phone signal, use them a lot,” Fernando Da Ros, president of the CTC, told this newspaper.

The option that is counted as fixed telephony from a technical point of view but that has a mobile device, are those stations that in rural areas have a service called “fixed cell phones” where there is no signal.

drop lines

At the country level, one of the main telephone operators reported, according to Enacom, in the last quarter of 2017 a rectification of 509,633 fewer accesses to the landline. Also in the last quarter of 2019, two of the main providers reported 2.23 million fewer accesses.

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