WHO WE ARE
Our focus is to promote the creation, improvement and development of new services, as well as the creation of a field for updating and technological training, within the framework of a changing telecommunications market.
In search of these objectives, we participate in industry forums both nationally and internationally, we implement meetings to discuss technical issues, we create spaces for the exchange of supplier information, among other actions of political and social interference.
Currently, CATEL is made up of 40 cooperatives from the provinces of Buenos Aires, Córdoba, Chubut, La Pampa, Misiones, Santa Cruz, Mendoza, Río Negro and Santa Fe.
The Chamber brings together cooperatives from the various federations. CATEL is not in charge of union-type issues, but is complementary to the tasks carried out by the federations.
CATEL is also the creator and promoter of the fourth mobile operator in the country, imowi, which was launched commercially in January 2021 and is already operating in numerous locations in Argentina.
CATEL is also a member of the Cooperative Confederation of the Argentine Republic (COOPERAR) since 2016.
After the cooperatives interested in entering the pay television market obtained their license in 2013, CATEL managed to reach an agreement to provide that service through IP technology. Nine cooperatives grouped in the Chamber joined the common use of a headend to provide an IP solution in each of their locations and thus start the provision of audiovisual communication services provided by physical link. This unprecedented project placed the cooperatives as pioneers for being the first entities in the country to offer IPTV, which made it possible to combine traditional TV content with interactivity and Internet functionalities. This first achievement would be the first of many that would ratify the appropriation of the principle of “cooperation between cooperatives”.
In 2014 CATEL was summoned by the National Government to participate in the Regulation of Virtual Mobile Operation in the country.
2017 was a year of vital importance since the Chamber managed to sign an agreement with Telefónica to use its network and part of its infrastructure to provide mobile telephone service and also obtained a Virtual Mobile Operator license from ENACOM. A short time later, it received mobile numbering from this same entity to provide service in seven provinces.
Since its inception, CATEL brought the technological vanguard closer to its associates, promoted strategic links with different actors and made the activity of the sector visible through its participation in numerous events in the sector, discussion tables and the articulation of relations with the press. It also achieved important benefits such as organizing joint purchases, sharing information, organizing workshops, making presentations to the Government and generating commissions that promoted teamwork.
CATEL formed a group of cooperatives to integrate the provision of the mobile service and in 2020 presented the imowi brand to society. Subsequently, its commercial launch was carried out, configuring imowi as the fourth national mobile operator.
The effort put into imowi was internationally rewarded by winning second place in the world-class World Communication Awards held in London in 2022. It also received the Conecta Latam Award for Best Digital Transformation Project of 2022, whose event was held out in the United States. Its president, Ariel Fernández Alvarado, was also nominated as Telecommunications Professional of the Year in said contest. At the national level, imowi was declared of interest by the National Chamber of Deputies.
To date, CATEL brings together cooperatives from the provinces of Buenos Aires, Córdoba, La Pampa, Santa Fe, Santa Cruz, Misiones, Chubut and Mendoza.
MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE AND STAFF
The Mobile Virtual Network Operator Commission coordinates the actions of the participating cooperatives for the development of the mobile business through the imowi brand.
The imowi working team, composed of Gustavo Mahnic, Hernán La Rosa, Alexis Slepoy, and Augusto Kestelboim, presents weekly management results and the status of different aspects of the project. General Managers of the cooperatives and their closest collaborators participate in these meetings.
The Commission allows for sharing best practices, strengthening common processes, and addressing commercial, administrative, and operational issues, aiming to guarantee the integrity of the services offered. Special attention is given to matters related to the relationship with strategic partners JSC Ingenium and Movistar.
One of the most relevant ongoing topics is managing relations with national authorities and banking entities to ensure payments for services abroad within the current restrictive regime.
Another central focus is working closely with Movistar on wholesale rates and other aspects of the contractual relationship, such as the possibility of initiating the deployment of an imowi-owned mobile access network.
COMMISSION FOR DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION AND INDUSTRY 4.0.
This space in CATEL was created and gained strength during the digitization of services in the COVID-19 pandemic. He is dedicated to working and researching 4.0 technological solutions and access training for Cooperatives. Today, already in a post-pandemic context, in which services have been digitized, it is necessary to continue working on the development of digital skills for cooperatives. people, for this there are tools and training that we can apply.
Gabriel Casaliggi, Vice President of the Chamber, leads this Commission. He has represented CATEL in different meetings and business rounds organized by government agencies, and has participated in events related to digital transformation. It continues to be part of one of the Digital Transformation Units (UTD), the UTDs are organizations financed by the Secretariat of Industry and Productive Development of the Ministry of Economy of the Nation that have technical teams that accompany your SME through training and Technical assistance on digital transformation issues.
The Transportation Commission aims to achieve interconnection and support between Cooperatives, to achieve synergies that allow improving the quality of services provided, managing to lower wholesale costs.
The Commission is composed by Pablo M. Fernández, head of Telecommunications at the Luján Electric Cooperative and Secretary of CATEL ; Horacio Vitullo, Assistant Manager of Wholesale Businesses of the TelViso cooperative; Marino Giuli, belonging to the Communications area of the Manuel Ocampo cooperative; Fernando Zehringer, Telecommunications Manager and Pablo Ghezzi, Technical Manager; both from the Gálvez cooperative
During the course of 2022, this commission worked on different projects (CDNs, international traffic tests, etc.) aimed at improving connectivity and expanding the interconnection between the Cooperatives associated with CATEL.
One of the most relevant issues of constant monitoring was the application of the Fixed Portability Regime; this Commission continues to participate in the COPITO work group belonging to the Argentine Number Portability Committee (COPON); Through this Commission, at this table, the concern of the small ICT operators was brought up, since in Argentina there is already a negligible but real amount of fixed portability between operators, these are rather large companies that exclusively market IP lines. Operators already adhered to the regime own around 93% of all telephone lines in the country.
Also as a central axis, for a few months now, the commission has been working hard on the issue of importing basic inputs for our telecommunications area, with actions aimed at unlocking and oiling the necessary mechanisms to achieve the provision of inputs on time and shape.