(Adds quotes from AWS executive)
By Cassandra Garrison
BUENOS AIRES, June 27 (Reuters) - Amazon Web Services (AWS), a unit of Amazon.com Inc, said on Thursday it will bolster its presence in Latin America with an “Edge” location in Argentina, its first in the country that will help speed up use for local users.
The so-called “Edge,” to be located in capital Buenos Aires, where AWS opened an office in April 2018, will help deliver data, videos and applications at higher speeds and improve cyber security, the company said.
Jeffrey Kratz, AWS’s general manager for public sector in Latin America, Canada and Caribbean, said the investment in Argentina was worth “millions of dollars of infrastructure” and that Edge locations had been shown to boost the performance of internet services as much as 90 percent.
Kratz also said that uncertainty about the outcome of Argentina’s presidential election in October was not a factor in the choice of Buenos Aires as an Edge location, adding that AWS works with more than 7,000 governments around the world.
“What drives us is what the customers are asking - not necessarily [whether it is ] an election year or not,” Kratz said in an interview with Reuters.
The location, which will be the seventh in Latin America, will go online this year. In March, AWS announced that Colombia would be its sixth Edge location. The others are in Sao Paolo and Rio de Janeiro.
An AWS spokeswoman declined to say how many jobs the Buenos Aires location would create but said it would “indirectly generate positions and support to local workforce development.”
“We are always opening positions in the local market,” the spokeswoman said.
The announcement comes amid speculation about where in the region the tech giant will install its next data center, which would allow local companies and governments to store information on the cloud. Chile and Argentina are vying for Amazon’s investment.
Kratz said there would be “no announcements today” when asked about future plans for a data center in Chile or Argentina.
In April, AWS said it will help astronomers in Chile crunch data gleaned from telescopes using its cloud computing services.
AWS is a fast-growing part of Amazon’s overall business. In the first quarter of 2019, it reported revenue of $7.7 billion, up by 41 percent over the same period a year ago, accounting for nearly 13 percent of Amazon’s overall sales. (Reporting by Cassandra Garrison; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)