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Panama - Telecoms, IP Networks and Digital Media

Panama - Telecoms, IP Networks and Digital Media

Panama's economic growth susceptible to Nicaragua canal route

Panama has benefited from maintaining one of the region's highest GDP growth rates in recent years. The country's economic prospects remain promising despite a dip in GDP growth anticipated for 2014. Nevertheless, strong growth in recent years has had a positive knock-on effect on the country's telecom market, which has also grown steadily and attracted considerable investment. In 2014, telecom revenues are expected to have broached $1 billion for the first time, 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 at the beginning of 2009 resulted in additional competition and steep price reductions which have shaken the market. Digicel Panamá launched operations in 2008, followed by América Móvil's Claro in 2009. This ended 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 further into 2014 and into 2015 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 2014 (e)
Service | Penetration
Broadband | 10.5%
Fixed-line | 18.6%
Mobile (SIM): | 159%
(Source: BuddeComm)

Key developments:

Movistar and C&WP launch LTE services;
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.
C&W Group has undergone 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.
Columbus signs on to manage the SAPL cable landing in Panama;
The regulator has invested $12 million to distribute 400,000 STBs in a bid to encourage DTTV take-up;
Broadband for Central America project gets under way, aimed at closing the digital divide by 2020.
C&WP has launched its +TV Digital DTH platform, aiming to provide content to remote areas which cannot receive cable services.

Companies mentioned in this report include:

Cable and Wireless Panama, Cable Onda, Claro, Optynex Telecom
Publication overview:
This report provides a comprehensive overview of 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 developments;
Major Players, Revenues, Subscribers, ARPU, MoU;
Internet, VoIP, IPTV;
Mobile Voice and Data Markets;
Broadband (FttP, DSL, cable, wireless);
Convergence and Digital Media;
3G subscriber and mobile ARPU forecasts to 2015;
Broadband market forecasts for selective years to 2020.
Government policies affecting the telecoms industry;
Market liberalisation and industry issues;
Telecoms operators privatisation, IPOs, acquisitions, new licences;
Mobile technologies (GSM; 3G, HSPA, LTE).


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 (NP)
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 Forecasts fixed-line market 2010; 2015; 2020
6.3.1 Scenario 1 higher fixed-line growth
6.3.2 Scenario 2 lower fixed-line growth
6.4 International infrastructure
6.4.1 Interconnection with other Central American countries
6.4.2 Submarine cable networks
6.4.3 Satellite networks
6.5 Infrastructure developments
6.5.1 Wireless Local Loop (WLL)
6.5.2 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
9.2 Video-streaming
9.2.1 IPTV (Broadband TV)
10. Broadcasting
10.1 Cable TV
10.1.1 Cable Onda
10.1.2 +TV Digital (C&WP)
10.2 Satellite-based digital pay TV developments
10.3 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 New licence concession 2013
11.3.3 Infrastructure sharing
11.4 Mobile technologies
11.4.1 Overview
11.4.2 Third Generation (3G) mobile networks (UMTS)
11.4.3 HSPA+
11.4.4 Long-term Evolution (LTE)
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
11.7 Notes on scenario forecasts
12. Related reports
Table 1 Country statistics Panama 2014 (e)
Table 2 Telephone network statistics 2014 (e)
Table 3 Internet user statistics 2014 (Jun)
Table 4 Broadband statistics 2014 (e)
Table 5 Mobile statistics 2014 (e)
Table 6 National telecommunications authority
Table 7 Evolution of GDP in Panama 2000 - 2014
Table 8 Telecom market revenue 2000 - 2016
Table 9 Telecom market revenue by sector 2007 - 2014
Table 10 Number of telecom concessions January 2015
Table 11 C&WP mobile, broadband and fixed-line subscribers 2010 - 2014
Table 12 C&WP mobile, broadband and fixed lines ARPU 2007 2014
Table 13 C&WP mobile, broadband and fixed lines revenue 2009 2015
Table 14 Historic - Fixed lines in service and teledensity 1997 2004
Table 15 Fixed lines in service and teledensity 2004 2015
Table 16 Public telephones 1998 - 2010
Table 17 Forecast fixed-line growth higher growth scenario 2013; 2015; 2020
Table 18 Forecast fixed-line growth lower growth scenario 2013; 2015; 2020
Table 19 Historic - Internet users and user penetration rate 1997 - 2004
Table 20 Internet users and user penetration rate 2005 - 2015
Table 21 Dial-up/broadband market share 1998 2013
Table 22 Dial-up internet subscribers 2007 2015
Table 23 Historic - Broadband subscribers and penetration rates 1998 - 2004
Table 24 Broadband subscribers and penetration rates 2005 - 2015
Table 25 Broadband market share by technology 2000 - 2014
Table 26 Broadband subscribers, DSL and cable 2001 - 2015
Table 27 Forecast broadband growth higher growth scenario 2013; 2015; 2020
Table 28 Forecast broadband growth lower growth scenario 2013; 2015; 2020
Table 29 C&WP DSL subscribers - 2005 - 2014
Table 30 WiFi and WiMAX broadband subscribers 2008 - 2015
Table 31 Interactive TV subscribers 2007 - 2015
Table 32 Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 1998 - 2004
Table 33 Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 2005 - 2015
Table 34 Mobile prepaid/postpaid ratio 1998 - 2014
Table 35 3G/HSPA subscribers 2008 - 2016
Table 36 Forecast mobile subscriber growth higher growth scenario 2013; 2015; 2020
Table 37 Forecast mobile subscriber growth lower growth scenario 2013; 2015; 2020
Table 38 C&WP mobile subscribers 2005 2014
Chart 1 C&WP mobile, broadband and fixed-line subscribers 2010 2014
Chart 2 C&WP mobile, broadband and fixed lines ARPU 2007 2014
Chart 3 C&WP mobile, broadband and fixed lines revenue 2009 2015
Chart 4 Fixed lines in service and teledensity 2002 2015
Chart 5 Internet users and user penetration rate 2002 2015
Chart 6 Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 2002 2015
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 Definitions of video streaming and IPTV
Exhibit 6 BellSouth Panama/Telefónica Móviles Panamá history

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