Uruguay is leading in broadband access
In South America Uruguay is the leading country with regard of the expansion of broadband connections and access to Internet. However, when it comes to speed and quality, it depends on where you have settled. More than 4 years ago we started with DSL Internet connection over copper cable, which was also responsible for the landline. To prevent the occasional malfunctions, we also had an USB stick with GPRS access in spare.
According to statistics in 2015, 30% of Uruguayans had broadband access. The telecommunication provider ANTEL emphasized that already 60% of the broadband connections were already covered by the fiber optic network (Fibra Optica - Fiber To The Home/FTTH). As mentioned above, Uruguay is the leader for the average speed Internet access in South America and ranks 7th in the world (amerika21).
Since 2012, Uruguay forces the development of the fibre optic network. In Las Toscas we have been connected to fibre optics in 2014, if we wanted or not! The advantage was that we don't have to pay one Peso more than before. Unfortunately, the areas of the development of fibre optics is limited to the areas with more peeople living there throughout the whole year. The mainly holiday areas are treated rather neglected. An overview of the development can be found on a map on the Antel Internet site.
This is the fibre optics coverage along the coast; unfortunately there are no green areas between Parque del Plata and Piriápolis (and farther to Punta del Este).
They stopped selling contracts based on copper cable in areas with Fibra Optica (fiber to the home). But that's the second best solution for an Internet access you can get here. You may expect also some failures, but the most time the band width is stable. But Antel obviously wants to get away from it. Customers claiming about failures and interruptions are asked to change to 3G or LTE.
After the development of LTE the USB stick in rural areas is widely used. For a common access for more than one person or devices, also router for the USB sticks are available. As that's a radiocommunciation system too, of course there are some speed variations from time to time. Our customers have such speed variations usually during the high season (Temporada), because then a lot of people have to share the available speed within their radio cell with lot of other users. According to the time of the day and weather the variations can be enormous. Please find the corresponding rates under "Internet contigo".
There's also a map available for the coverage of LTE and GPRS. Unfortunately the explanation is missing, but we suppose the yellow area shows GPRS and the red one LTE.
If you have the possibility to get connected to the fibre optics, that's always the best solution here. Since 2014 we didn't have any noteworthy failures or limitations. Sometimes the speed is really stunning, especially when connected to the USA. The band width to and from Germany is a little bit limited. Among others, you could watch a certain movie only via the media center with failures and interruptions. The shows from the private TV programs in Germany were even worse. But meanwhile the systems of the media centers in Germany as well as the development of the hubs have been improved and meanwhile almost everything runs without interruptions and failures. Show map of availability on Antels website.
As there's no need for an underground laying of cables, the fibre optics cable is installed and connected within a few minutes from the closest distributor to inside your house. That's one of the advantages of an unconventional overland connection of cables in Uruguay.
But especially for one who want or need to work via Internet, the band width for the upload (Upload speed) is much more important than the download speed. With up to 12Mb/s fibre optics offers another advantage. Rates and speeds are listed here on Antels website.
If you have an existing contract and you are satisfied with what you get, first should check about the monthly dues for another rate.
! Older contracts are often much cheaper and after a change there's no way back !
One who wants to change, first should try to get a fibre optics connection. If that's not available it depends on what one wants to have and to pay for it:
- Copper cable for low, but constant speed
- LTE stick with/without router for faster access, lower stability in band width and a little bit more expensive
- a GPRS stick with/without router, apparently available for the biggest part of the rural areas.
Of course, this is also valid for new immigrants who already decided in which area they want to live here in Uruguay.
! TIP for all who are new to Uruguay and require a fast Internet connection !
You should decide to live in an area, that is marked green or at least yellow (under construction) on Antels coverage map, to get a connection to fibre optics (Fibra Optica).