In Panama, telecommunication sector is privatized in 1998. There are telecommunication includes radio, television, fixed and mobile telephones and the Internet. Panama has an excellent telecommunications infrastructure, which includes broadband internet penetration, calling card availability, and public phone services.
According to study, “Panama – Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband – Statistics and Analyses” some of the major companies that are currently working in the Panama telecoms, mobile and broadband – statistics and analyses are Cable and Wireless Panama, Cable Onda, Claro, Optynex Telecom, Digicel, Movistar, Liberty Technologies, Wipet, Sky Panama.
In Panama, broadband market is classified into fixed broadband and mobile broadband. Broadband represents the majority of subscription. The fixed broadband market is served by a number of technology platforms including ADSL, fibre-to-the-home (Fttx), WiMAX and leased line. FttH provides high speed internet speed to the customers along with TV and telephone connection at reasonable rates. WiMAX makes up a significant proportion of total fixed broadband subscription. The development of national fixed broadband network is based on fibre.
In Panama, there are four mobile network operators, which are; cable & wireless (movil), Claro, digicel and movistar. Cable & wireless operator operates under a number of brands, including LIME, cable & wireless Panama and CWC business. Claro mobile network operator offers GSM-1900 (GPRS, EDGE), 850/1900 MHz UMTS and HSPA+. Digicel mobile network operator offers GSM-1800/1900 (GPRS, EDGE), 1900 MHz UMTS and HSPA+. Movistar.
In Panama, there are two regulatory authorities of telecommunication infrastructure: Autoridad Nacional de los Servicios Publicos (ASEP) and authority for consumer protection and defense of competition (ACODECO). ASEP regulatory authority provides licenses for radio frequency technology (approval and certification of import & commercialize) to utilizing many telecommunication products. Some type of products for requiring ASEP approval are transceivers, personal trackers, wireless microphones, mobile phones and radio alarms etc. ACODECO is a public body independent of the central government and comprises two directorates, one focused on consumer protection and the other on competition policies.
In an increasing dynamic environment, U.S. telecommunications operators continue to look for opportunities to extend the reach of their global networks in order to deliver the advanced telecommunications their customers demand. The U.S.-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement provides opportunity for U.S. operators to gain the legal certainty necessary to make significant investments abroad. Users of Panamanian telecom networks are guaranteed reasonable and nondiscriminatory access to Panamanian telecommunications networks. U.S. telecommunications companies are ensured the right to interconnect with Panamanian dominant carriers’ fixed networks at nondiscriminatory and cost-based rates. U.S. firms will be able to lease lines from Panama telecom networks on non-discriminatory terms and to re-sell most telecom services of Panamanian suppliers to build a customer base.
In 2017, the total revenue of mobile data sector market share 32% in Panama. In December 2017, liberty global created liberty Latin America (LLA) to manage the company’s Latin American and Caribbean businesses. In Feb 2018, LLA has since expanded through acquisitions, including the purchase of an 80% stake in Cabletica (Costa Rica). It is estimated that the market share will be increasingly 48% by 2022 led by growing smart-phones and 4G subscriptions and increasing adoption of higher value bundled plans with larger data limits. It is estimated that broadband for Central America project will be closed digital divide by 2020. It is also expected that 4G mobile subscriptions will overtake 3G as the leading technology from 2021 led by ongoing expansions of 4G LTE networks by operators, in country.
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Ankur Gupta, Head Marketing & Communications