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Panama - Telecoms IP Networks Digital Media and Forecasts


Attention: There is an updated edition available for this report.

Panama to be linked to new cable subsea system

With one of the region's highest GDP growth rates forecasted for 2012, Panama's economic prospects are promising, and this is likely to have a positive knock-on effect on the country's telecom market. In 2012, telecom revenues are expected to reach about US$910 million, with mobile services and broadband being the fastest growing sectors.

Panama's fixed-line teledensity is well below average for the region, though it is rising steadily from a relatively low base, largely due to alternative operators making use of cable or fixed-wireless networks.

Competition remains limited in the broadband sector, where the incumbent Cable & Wireless Panamá has resisted unbundling its local network and as a result has secured a virtual monopoly in the delivery of DSL access. The only cross-platform competition is from cable modem and WiMAX services.

The mobile sector has flourished in recent years, and the popularity of having multiple SIM cards has pushed mobile penetration rates to above 190%, considerably higher than the regional average. The arrival of two new mobile players around the start of 2009 has resulted in additional competition and steep price reductions that have shaken the market. Digicel Panamá launched operations in 2008, and América Móvil's Claro in 2009, so ending the duopoly long enjoyed by Cable & Wireless Panamá and Telefónica's Movistar.

Internet penetration has grown in recent years and is expected to do so steadily in 2013 and into 2014 as a result of consumer demand for services as well as the stimulus of the government's Internet for All project. In 2010, Panama became one of the first countries in the world to offer free wireless broadband access nationwide. The National Internet Network project does not compete with private broadband providers, because its aim is digital inclusion and not the provision of broadband access.

Panama penetration by service 2010; 2013
Penetration rate by service | 2010 | 2013 (e)
Broadband | 7.7% | 8.8%
Fixed-line | 15.4% | 15.8%
Mobile (SIM): | 185% | 187%
(Source: BuddeComm)

Market highlights:

Mobile number portability has been introduced, encouraging competition in the mobile sector.
The Internet for All (RNI) project has increased internet penetration to over 40%.
The entry of Cable & Wireless Panamá into the pay TV sector has eroded the dominance of Cable Onda and encouraged the company to roll out IPTV services as well.
Having adopted the DVB standard for DTTV, Panama is approaching Phase 2 of the switch to digital broadcasting, with the process expected to be complete by September 2017.
Mobile broadband has become popular in Panama, particularly in rural areas, following the introduction of HSPA+ services by Claro , C&WP and Digicel.
During 2013 C&W Group underwent a number of operational changes, with Macau and Islands businesses being sold to focus on pan-America. The Group will run its businesses in the Caribbean and Panama as a unified operation.

Data in this report is the latest available at the time of preparation and may not be for the current year.

This report covers trends and developments in Panama's telecommunications market. The report analyses the mobile, internet, broadband, digital TV and converging media sectors.

Subjects include:

Market and industry analyses, trends and developments;
Facts, figures and statistics;
Industry and regulatory issues;
Infrastructure;
Major Players, Revenues, Subscribers; ARPU;
Internet, VoIP, IPTV;
Mobile Voice and Data Markets;
Broadband (FttH, DSL, cable TV, wireless);
Convergence and Digital Media;
Broadband market forecasts for selective years.

Companies covered in this report include:

Cable and Wireless Panama, Cable Onda, Claro, Optynex Telecom


1. Executive summary
2. Key statistics
3. Telecommunications market
3.1 Country overview
3.2 Overview of Panama's telecom market
3.3 Market analysis
4. Regulatory environment
4.1 Regulatory authorities
4.1.1 ASEP
4.1.2 ACODECO
4.2 Privatisation of INTEL
4.3 Telecom sector liberalisation
4.4 Interconnect
4.5 Consumer protection
4.6 Number portability
4.7 Free Trade Agreement
5. Fixed network operators in Panama
5.1 Overview
5.2 Cable & Wireless Panamá
5.2.1 Cable & Wireless Panamá operational and financial statistics
5.3 Cable Onda/Telecarrier
5.3.1 Advanced Communication Network (ACN)
5.4 ClaroCOM (Galaxy Communications Corp)
5.5 Optynex Telecom
5.6 Movistar
6. Telecommunications infrastructure
6.1 National telecom network
6.2 International network
6.2.1 Fixed-line statistics
6.3 International infrastructure
6.3.1 Interconnection with other Central American countries
6.3.2 Submarine cable networks
6.3.3 Satellite networks
6.4 Infrastructure developments
6.4.1 Wireless Local Loop (WLL)
6.4.2 IP and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
7. Wholesale
8. Broadband access market
8.1 Overview
8.1.1 eHealth
8.1.2 Broadband statistics
8.1.3 Broadband players
8.1.4 Red Nacional de Internet (RNI)
8.2 Forecasts fixed broadband market 2010; 2015; 2020
8.2.1 Scenario 1 higher broadband growth
8.2.2 Scenario 2 lower broadband growth
8.3 Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL)
8.4 WiMAX
8.5 Mobile broadband
8.6 Satellite broadband
9. Media convergence
9.1.1 Triple-play models
9.1.2 IPTV (Broadband TV)
10. Broadcasting
10.2 Cable TV
10.2.1 Cable Onda
10.2.2 +TV Digital (C&WP)
10.3 Satellite-based digital pay TV developments
10.4 Digital Terrestrial TV (DTTV)
11. Mobile communications
11.1 Overview of Panama's mobile market
11.1.1 Mobile statistics
11.2 Forecasts mobile market 2010; 2015; 2020
11.2.1 Scenario 1 higher mobile market growth
11.2.2 Scenario 2 lower mobile market growth
11.3 Regulatory issues
11.3.1 Spectrum auction 2008
11.3.2 Infrastructure sharing
11.4 Mobile technologies
11.4.1 Overview
11.4.2 Third Generation (3G) mobile networks (UMTS)
11.4.3 HSPA+
11.5 Major mobile operators
11.5.1 +Móvil (C&WP)
11.5.2 Movistar (Telefónica)
11.5.3 Digicel Panamá
11.5.4 Claro Panamá (América Móvil)
11.6 Mobile broadband
12. Forecasts
12.1 Forecasts fixed-line market 2010; 2015; 2020
12.1.1 Scenario 1 higher fixed-line growth
12.1.2 Scenario 2 lower fixed-line growth
12.2 Notes on scenario forecasts
13. Related reports
Table 1 Country statistics Panama 2012
Table 2 Telephone network statistics 2013 (e)
Table 3 Internet user statistics 2013 (e)
Table 4 Broadband statistics 2013 (e)
Table 5 Mobile statistics 2013 (e)
Table 6 National telecommunications authority
Table 7 Evolution of GDP in Panama 2000 - 2016
Table 8 Telecom sector revenue 2000 - 2016
Table 9 Number of telecom concessions and operators 2011
Table 10 C&W mobile, broadband and fixed-line subscribers 2010 - 2013
Table 11 C&W mobile, broadband and fixed lines ARPU 2007 2013
Table 12 C&W mobile, broadband and fixed lines revenue 2009 2013
Table 13 Historic - Fixed lines in service and teledensity 1997 2004
Table 14 Fixed lines in service and teledensity 2004 2013
Table 15 Public telephones 1998 - 2010
Table 16 Historic - Internet users and user penetration rate 1997 - 2004
Table 17 Internet users and user penetration rate 2004 - 2013
Table 18 Dial-up/broadband market share 1998 2013
Table 19 Historic - Broadband subscribers and penetration rates 1998 - 2004
Table 20 Broadband subscribers and penetration rates 2005 - 2013
Table 21 Broadband market share by technology 2000 - 2012
Table 22 Broadband subscribers, DSL and cable 2001 - 2013
Table 23 Forecast broadband growth higher growth scenario 2011; 2016
Table 24 Forecast broadband growth lower growth scenario 2011; 2016
Table 25 C&W DSL subscribers - 2005 - 2013
Table 26 Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 1998 - 2004
Table 27 Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 2005 - 2013
Table 28 Mobile prepaid/postpaid ratio 1998 - 2012
Table 29 3G/HSPA subscribers 2008 - 2016
Table 30 Forecast mobile subscriber growth higher growth scenario 2011; 2016
Table 31 Forecast mobile subscriber growth lower growth scenario 2011; 2016
Table 32 C&W mobile subscribers 2005 2013
Table 33 Forecast fixed-line growth higher growth scenario 2011; 2016
Table 34 Forecast fixed-line growth lower growth scenario 2011; 2016
Chart 1 C&W mobile, broadband and fixed-line subscribers 2010 2013
Chart 2 C&W mobile, broadband and fixed lines revenue 2009 2013
Chart 3 Fixed lines in service and teledensity 2002 2013
Chart 4 Internet users and user penetration rate 2002 2013
Chart 5 Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 2002 2013
Exhibit 1 Cable & Wireless Panamá at a glance
Exhibit 2 Telecarrier history
Exhibit 3 Telephone cable theft - history
Exhibit 4 Major submarine cable networks serving Panama
Exhibit 5 BellSouth Panama/Telefónica Móviles Panamá history

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