Market Research Logo

Panama - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Forecasts

Shake up in Panama’s internet and mobile markets

With one of the region’s highest GDP growth forecast for 2012, the outlook is promising for Panama’s telecom market. The GDP per capita is the highest in Central America and is amongst the five fastest growing countries in Latin America. 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 Latin America and the Caribbean; in fact, it is at least three percentage points lower than one would expect, considering the country’s relatively high economic indicators. To make up for the shortfall, the number of fixed lines is increasing, albeit slowly, thanks to alternative operators using fibre-coaxial or fixed-wireless networks.

Competition is limited in the broadband sector, where incumbent Cable & Wireless Panamá is reluctant to unbundle its local network and has secured a virtual monopoly in the delivery of ADSL access. The only competition is across technologies, from cable modem and WiMAX services.

The mobile sector, on the other hand, has been flourishing, with penetration well above the 100% milestone and about 30% higher than the regional average. The arrival of two new mobile players around the start of 2009 has resulted in high levels of promotional activity and steep price reductions that have shaken the market. Digicel Panamá began operations in 2008, and América Móvil’s Claro in 2009. Previously, Panama’s mobile market had been a duopoly between Cable & Wireless Panamá and Telefónica’s Movistar.

Internet penetration is expected to grow further in 2011/12 thanks to 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, reaching 80% of the population. The National Internet Network project does not compete with private broadband providers, because its aim is digital inclusion and not the provision of high-speed access.

Market highlights:

Mobile number portability comes into play.

The Internet for All or RNI project has increased internet penetration to over 40%.

In 2009, Cable & Wireless Panamá entered the pay TV sector, heavily dominated by Cable Onda and increased its market share to over 15% by mid-2011, mostly by churning customers from the competitors. The success is driving the company to roll out IPTV services in 2012.

The Panamanian government adopted the DVB standard for digital terrestrial TV in 2009, and launched commercial digital terrestrial TV operations in the second half of 2011.

In 2010, the Panamanian government created the largest WiMAX network in Central America, providing free internet access across the country, but by 2011 WiMAX services had attracted under 4,000 subscribers.

Claro became the first operator to launch HSPA+ operations in Panama in 2011. C&W Panamá launched services later in the year, while Digicel invested some US$100 million before its mid02012 launch.

Panama – key telecom parameters – 2010 - 2011
Category | 2010 | 2011 (e)
Fixed-line service
Total number of subscribers1 | 553,000 | 575,000
Teledensity1 | 15.4% | 15.8%
Internet
Internet users (million) | 1.50 | 1.65
Internet users penetration | 41.8% | 45.3%
Broadband
Total number of subscribers | 276,000 | 320,000
Penetration rate | 7.7% | 8.8%
Mobile telephony subscribers
Total number of subscribers (million) | 6.50 | 6.80
Mobile penetration rate | 185.4% | 187.2
(Source: BuddeComm)

Panama has excellent growth potential especially in mobile and broadband services. The report covers trends and developments in the fixed-line, mobile, internet, broadband, and pay TV markets.

Subjects include:

Market and industry analyses, trends and developments;
Facts, figures, and statistics;
Government policies and regulatory issues;
Major players (fixed, mobile and broadband);
Infrastructure development;
Internet and broadband market (DSL, cable modem, wireless);
Mobile market (including 3G and mobile broadband);
Scenario forecasts for the fixed-line, mobile, and broadband markets for 2011, 2012 and 2016.


1. Executive summary
2. Key statistics
3. Telecommunications market
3.1 Country overview
3.1.1 General outlook
3.2 Overview of Panama’s telecom market
3.3 Market analysis – 2012
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
6.1.1 Fixed-line statistics
7. Forecasts
7.1 Forecasts – fixed-line market 2010; 2015; 2020
7.1.1 Scenario 1 – higher fixed-line growth
7.1.2 Scenario 2 – lower fixed-line growth
7.2 International infrastructure
7.2.1 Interconnection with other Central American countries
7.2.2 Submarine cable networks
7.2.3 Satellite networks
7.3 Infrastructure developments
7.3.1 Wireless Local Loop (WLL)
7.3.2 IP and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
8. Wholesale
9. Broadband access market
9.1 Overview
9.1.1 Broadband statistics
9.1.2 Broadband players
9.1.3 Red Nacional de Internet (RNI)
9.2 Forecasts – fixed broadband market 2010; 2015; 2020
9.2.1 Scenario 1 – higher broadband growth
9.2.2 Scenario 2 – lower broadband growth
9.3 Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL)
9.4 WiMAX
9.5 Mobile broadband
10. Media convergence
10.1.1 Triple-play models
10.1.2 IPTV (Broadband TV)
11. Broadcasting
11.2 Cable TV
11.2.1 Cable Onda
11.2.2 +TV Digital (C&WP)
11.3 Satellite-based digital pay TV developments
11.4 Digital Terrestrial TV (DTTV)
12. Mobile communications
12.1 Overview of Panama’s mobile market
12.1.1 Mobile statistics
12.2 Forecasts – mobile market 2010; 2015; 2020
12.2.1 Scenario 1 – higher mobile market growth
12.2.2 Scenario 2 – lower mobile market growth
12.3 Regulatory issues
12.3.1 Spectrum auction – 2008
12.3.2 Infrastructure sharing
12.4 Mobile technologies
12.4.1 Overview
12.4.2 Third Generation (3G) mobile networks (UMTS)
12.4.3 HSPA+
12.4.4 Mobile handsets/smartphones
12.5 Major mobile operators
12.5.1 +Móvil (C&WP)
12.5.2 Movistar (Telefónica)
12.5.3 Digicel Panamá
12.5.4 Claro Panamá (América Móvil)
12.6 Mobile broadband
12.7 Notes on scenario forecasts
13. Related reports
List of Tables and Exhibits
Table 1 – Country statistics Panama – 2011
Table 2 – Telephone network statistics – 2011
Table 3 – Internet user statistics – 2011
Table 4 – Broadband statistics – 2011
Table 5 – Mobile statistics – 2011
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 – September 2011
Table 10 – Mobile, broadband and fixed lines subscribers – 2010 - 2011
Table 11 – Mobile, broadband and fixed lines ARPU – 2007 – 2011
Table 12 – Mobile, broadband and fixed lines revenue – H1 2010 – H1 2011
Table 13 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 1997 – 2012
Table 14 – Public telephones – 1998 - 2010
Table 15 – Forecast fixed-line growth – higher growth scenario – 2011; 2016
Table 16 – Forecast fixed-line growth – lower growth scenario – 2011; 2016
Table 17 – Internet users and user penetration rate – 1997 - 2012
Table 18 – Dial-up/broadband market share – 1998 – 2010
Table 19 – Broadband subscribers and penetration rates – 1998 - 2011
Table 20 – Broadband market share by technology – 2000 - 2011
Table 21 – Forecast broadband growth – higher growth scenario – 2011; 2016
Table 22 – Forecast broadband growth – lower growth scenario – 2011; 2016
Table 23 – C&W – ADSL subscribers - 2005 - 2011
Table 24 – C&W – +TV Digital subscribers and homes passed – 2009 - 2011
Table 25 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 1998 - 2012
Table 26 – Mobile prepaid/postpaid ratio – 1998 - 2010
Table 27 – 3G/HSPA subscribers – 2008 - 2016
Table 28 – Forecast mobile subscriber growth – higher growth scenario – 2011; 2016
Table 29 – Forecast mobile subscriber growth – lower growth scenario – 2011; 2016
Table 30 – C&W – mobile subscribers – 2005 – 2011
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

Download our eBook: How to Succeed Using Market Research

Learn how to effectively navigate the market research process to help guide your organization on the journey to success.

Download eBook

Share this report