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Founded1974 (spun off from UTE)
Area served
Key people
Andrés Tolosa (President)
RevenueU$S 0.9 billion (FY2011)
OwnerGovernment of Uruguay
DivisionsAntel Moviles, Antel Datos e Internet

ANTEL (Spanish: Administración Nacional de Telecomunicaciones, lit. 'National Administration of Telecommunications') is Uruguay's government-owned telecommunications company, founded in 1974 as a separate legal entity after spinning off the telecommunications division of UTE, which had the monopoly of landline telephony since 1931. The company has a monopoly of landline telephony and data services in the country. They also provide mobile phone services (in direct competition with Claro and Movistar) and Internet-related services, being the only provider of ADSL and land-line data services because of the monopoly situation.


In 1992, under the presidency of Luis Alberto Lacalle, a privatization of all government-owned companies was attempted. However, a later referendum revoked the privatizations law[1], being Pluna the only company to be successfully privatized to Varig. Antel enjoys a monopoly on land lines in Uruguay.

As of 2008 ANTEL's monopoly status also forbids cable operators even in larger cities, such as Montevideo, to provide data services (Internet) or voice services along with their cable service.

Antel started deploying fiber to the home in Montevideo in 2012, aiming to switch 240,000 clients that year with a cost of US$180 million.[2] Previous DSL subscribers keep their contract, or may switch to faster Internet Vera plans: 150/12 Mbit/s for US$72/month, 120/12 Mbit/s for $61/month, 60/10 Mbit/s for $49/month, or 30/4 Mbit/s for $32/month, throttled back to 10% of those speeds after a 700 / 350 / 400 / 150 GB cap.[3] IP television, voice over IP and connections in the department capitals are expected for 2013 and 2014.

Telecommunications tower[edit]

Torre de las Telecomunicaciones (ANTEL)

ANTEL owns Uruguay's tallest skyscraper, the Telecommunications Tower, which has 160 meters and 35 floors. It is the tallest building in the country. It was designed by architect Carlos Ott. It is situated by the side of Montevideo's bay.

Satellite telecommunications[edit]

Uruguay installed its first satellite earth station in 1985 followed by two Intelsat earth stations in 1990.[4] ANTEL, the Aeronautics and Space Research and Diffusion Center and the UdelaR launched the first national satellite for telecommunications on June 2014, the Antelsat.[5]

Private competition[edit]

Antel has been granted monopoly power over most forms of communication carriage in Uruguay, except for wireless voice (mobile only), wireless internet service, wireless broadcast TV and cable TV.

Uruguay communications offerings (as of August 2016)
Service Antel offering Private offerings
Wireless Internet Yes Yes
Wireless Telephone (mobile) Yes Yes
Wireless Telephone (fixed) Yes Forbidden
Wireless Broadcast TV No Yes
Internet over landline (ADSL) Yes Forbidden
Telephone over landline Yes Forbidden
Broadcast TV over landline No Forbidden
Internet over coax cable No Forbidden
Telephone over coax cable No Forbidden
Broadcast TV over coax cable No Yes
Internet over fiber Yes Forbidden
Telephone over fiber Yes Forbidden
Broadcast TV over fiber Yes Forbidden

In early August 2016 the Uruguayan supreme court issued a ruling in favor of cable TV company Monte Cablevideo S.A., declaring unconstitutional the law that made it unlawful for cable TV companies to offer Internet service. If this stands, it could represent an historic opening of the hitherto rigidly controlled Uruguayan wired Internet market, a sort of fall of the Berlin Wall in Uruguayan telecom. It would mean that for the first time in Uruguayan history consumers would have a choice of providers when ordering wired Internet service. It would also mean that Uruguay would join the almost unanimous majority of nations in the Americas where cable-delivered Internet is on the menu of Internet access choices (Cuba would be the only remaining holdout.[6]) After the supreme court's announcement there was speculation that the Uruguayan executive branch may continue to block the necessary licenses through its telecom regulating agency (URSEC), though without a legal basis the executive's position would presumably be less tenable.[7] At the end of August the supreme court issued a second similar ruling on the same matter, this time authorizing a different cable company - Nuevo Siglo - to provide the services in question (the Uruguayan legal system does not make the ruling in favor of a company apply to all other companies in that situation.)[8]

For information on specific competitors to Antel in the services where competition is allowed, see Telecommunications in Uruguay

Financial Performance[edit]

(All u$s figures for FY2011 performance were calculated using 12/31/11 exchange rate of 1 dollar = 19.903 Uruguayan pesos.)

For the fiscal year ending Dec 31, 2011, Antel had revenues of US$899,361,905 (17,897,790,000 Uruguayan pesos).[9] This represents 2% of Uruguay's 2011 GDP,[10] putting Antel in the exclusive league of Uruguayan mega-corporations, with a share of the economy slightly higher than that of Chevron in the US.[11] Calculated on a per-capita basis,[12] in 2011 Antel collected u$s 267 of revenue per inhabitant of Uruguay (for comparison purposes the minimum monthly wage of Uruguay as of 2011 was US$300[13]) In FY 2011 Antel had net profit of US$155,630,000 (3,097,523,000 Uruguayan pesos), or 17.3% of revenues.

Antel has been involved in high profile and somewhat controversial investments[citation needed], notably a) the purchase of the Telecommunications Tower, the most expensive corporate headquarters in Uruguay for US$102,000,000 and b) more recently (April 2013) the announcement of a planned investment of US$40,000,000 in a sports arena.[14]


By the year 2014, Antel started the project of "Antel Arena", a basketball field and stadium, this project should be banned by the Uruguayan national constitution, that does not allow any state-owned enterprise to operate out they indicated duties. This project is being carried out anyway.

Many people criticize the amount of money Antel spends in advertising. Even though Antel has a monopoly over some services (e.g. landline telephony and Fiber Optic Internet Access) they are known to advertise in almost every Uruguayan media.


  1. ^ "Uruguay privatization scheme jolted by opposition". UPI. Retrieved 2019-01-13.
  2. ^ Antel llevará fibra óptica a 240.000 hogares en 2012 Archived 2012-07-12 at the Wayback Machine - El País, 1 February 2012
  3. ^ Planes de Internet Archived 2013-01-14 at - Antel
  4. ^ Uruguay. Transportation and Communications
  5. ^ Satélite AntelSat pasó por cielo uruguayo y empezó a emitir señales
  6. ^ Only Cuba and Uruguay don't offer Internet access via cable modem Archived 2013-05-14 at the Wayback Machine ‹See Tfd›(in Spanish)
  7. ^ Corte abre camino para que los cables puedan ofrecer internet - El Observador, 12 August 2016
  8. ^ Otro fallo de la Corte habilita a canal cable a vender paquete con Internet - El Pais, 25 August 2016
  9. ^ Estados contables 31 de diciembre de 2011 Antel website
  10. ^ World Bank Uruguay Data
  11. ^ List of companies by revenue
  12. ^ Demographics of Uruguay
  13. ^ List of minimum wages by country
  14. ^ Construiran el Antel arena Diario El Observador, April 2, 2013

External links[edit]