At the start of the just-concluded Jornadas de Cable, or Cable Days — the busiest in the annual event’s 26 years — the ascending escalator in the basement of the venue, the Hilton Buenos Aires, broke down. The elevators became jammed as a result, but perhaps fortunately, only half of the three-day event was actually busy: the afternoon of the opening day, and the second day.

The Jornadas, which started September 14 this year, is the most important trade show for the cable TV industry in the South Cone of Latin America, and is organized by two Argentinean associations: ATVC and CAPPSA. The former is the association of cable TV operators and the latter, the association for content providers, with a board made of representatives from HBO, Turner, Disney ESPN, Telefe, etc.

During one of its 23 conferences, the Argentinean Minister of Communications Oscar Aguad announced that by 2020, 90 percent of Argentineans will be connected to wideband. Dataxis Argentina’s Carlos Blanco also pointed out that Claro and Telefonica control 61 percent of cellular telephony in the country.

Total participants at the event numbered 4,200— mostly from Argentina and the South Cone, with some presence from the U.S., Spain, France, China and Japan, while the 58 exhibitors were equally divided between hardware companies and content and video signal providers.

Going back to the escalator problem: the fact that they could go down, but not up symbolized to some participants that the Jornadas cannot grow any further the way they are structured now.

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