: A Case Study

Carlos Horowicz


$FreeBSD: doc/en_US.ISO8859-1/articles/,v 1.2 2005/09/04 22:03:59 joel Exp $

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Table of Contents
1 Overview
2 The Challenge
3 The FreeBSD solution
4 Results

1 Overview

Argentina.Com is an Argentine ISP with a small infrastructure of fewer than 15 employees and whose primary source of income originates in the free dialup business. It began operation in the year 2000 with barely one server for mail and chat.

It has since grown to a market presence in the Argentine free dialup market of 4.5 billion minutes annually. Its most popular product provides nearly half a million users with free e-mail with webmail, POP3 and SMTP access, and 300M disk space. Towards the end of 2002 there were around 50,000 mail users. After two and a half years of re-engineering and consistent technical improvements this ISP has grown by a factor of 3 in terms of billing, and by a factor of 10 with regard to the mail user base.

Our competitors in the Argentine market of free dialup include Fullzero which is owned by the Clarin Media Group, Alternativa Gratis, and Tutopia which is funded by IFX and promoted by Hotmail. Some of these large corporate competitors started their free dialup business with multi-million dollar investments and aggressive television and Internet ad campaigns. Argentina.Com does not rely on advertising like these other larger corporations. It has climbed to the fourth position and to an 8% market share during the last two years thanks to superior quality of service.

In Argentina and Latin America in general people who do not have computers at home go to so called “Locutorios” (Internet Centers), where for a few pesos they can use a computer connected to the Internet and usually read and write emails through popular webmails like Hotmail, Yahoo or Argentina.Com.

Due to limited financial resources, Argentina.Com made the decision to invest in a new email system instead of publicity in the media. This strategic decision opens the door to a future business in the corporate and paid email arena.

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