Prip! Nextel Argentina Plans Buenos Aires Network Expansion

Patrick Archer competitiveness, foreign investment, technology, us companies

Nextel Argentina, whose 1998 iDEN-enabled phone launch was a game-changer in the BA cellular arena, is launching an ambitious expansion into the Province of Buenos Aires.

The company just announced plans to invest $262 million pesos ($67.6 million USD) this year in order to extend Nextel service to the cities of Tandil, Balcarce, Azul and Olavarra. While Balcarce joined the network yesterday, the other three cities will be added in the second half of the year. Coverage will simultaneously be extended along the length of Highway 226 and Highway 3, two of the main provincial arteries which intersect near Azul.

Like sister divisions in other Latin American countries, Nextel Argentina’s ranks are made up of talented engineers and IT professionals. According to LinkedIn, the median age of NA’s 1,000 employees is 28 and most are graduates of Argentina’s best universities. Virginia-based NII Holdings currently has operations in Argentina, Mexico, Peru, Chile and neighboring Brazil where the company has grown its subscriber base at an annual rate of 40% since 2006.

Here in Argentina, the company has invested more than $2.8 billion pesos ($723 million USD) since 1998 on infrastructure and network expansion to Argentina’s largest cities. More recently, the ubiquitous Nextel two-way beep was assigned a name last year, Prip!, while the company was awarded the prestigious National Quality Award for the second time.