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Panama - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Panama - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Panama's mobile market likely to consolidate to three operators
Panama's economic prospects remain promising, with GDP growth during the last few years being steady at between 5% and 6% annually. This growth has had a positive effect on the country's telecom market, which has also grown steadily and attracted considerable investment from significant international operators including Telefónica, America Móvil and Liberty Global. Liberty Global in 2016 acquired Cable & Wireless Communications, which owns the incumbent telco Cable & Wireless Panama. The deal has enabled Liberty Global to combine CWP's businesses in Panama and the Caribbean with its own operations in Chile and Puerto Rico. The merged operator provides improved bundled service offerings and has stimulated competition with the other regional players Digicel and Claro. In December 2017 Liberty Global created Liberty Latin America (LLA) to manage the company's Latin American and Caribbean businesses. LLA has since expanded through acquisitions, including the purchase of an 80% stake in Cabletica (Costa Rica) in February 2018.
Telecom revenue climbed steadily for several years before falling back in 2016 and 2017. Mobile services and broadband remain the key sectors, a trend likely to continue in 2019 in the wake of operator investments in network upgrades.
Panama's fixed-line teledensity is well below average for the region, and the number of lines continues to fall as customers adopt mobile-only solutions for making calls and for internet access.
Competition remains limited in the broadband sector, where the incumbent CWP 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. The popularity of customers having multiple SIM cards pushed mobile penetration rates above 174% in 2014 this this has fallen back in response to measures aimed at removing dormant SIM cards and unregistered users. The arrival of Digicel Panamá in 2008 and América Móvil in 2009 ended the duopoly long enjoyed by Cable & Wireless Panamá and Telefónica's Movistar and resulted in additional competition and steep price reductions. However, legislation adopted in early 2018 allows for market consolidation and the reduction of the market to three players, aimed at making more efficient use of available spectrum.
Internet penetration has grown in recent years and is expected to do so steadily further into 2017 because 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.

Key developments:

Digicel Panama secures 700MHz spectrum licence, completes $100 million investment program, launches LTE services;
Charges for number porting reduced;
South America Pacific Link cable to be ready for service by early 2019, connecting Panama to the Caribbean and Asian regions;
Deep Blue Cable begins project to extend its pan-Caribbean regional submarine cable system to Panama;
Movistar, Claro and C&WP extend reach of LTE services;
Regulators of Panama and Costa Rica assess technical aspects of digital dividend spectrum use;
C&WP contracts Ericsson to develop VoLTE and Wi-Fi Calling services;
C&WP trials G-fast technology with Huawei;
Internet for All (RNI) project helping drive internet penetration;
Broadband for Central America project to close digital divide by 2020.
Report update includes the regulator's market data to December 2017, operator data to Q2 2018, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

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


  • EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
  • KEY STATISTICS
    • Table Top Level Country Statistics and Telco Authorities - Panama – 2018 (e)
  • COUNTRY OVERVIEW
    • Table Evolution of GDP in Panama – 2000 - 2018
  • TELECOMMUNICATIONS MARKET
    • HISTORICAL OVERVIEW
    • MARKET ANALYSIS
      • Table Telecom market investment – 2012 - 2017
      • Table Telecom market revenue – 2000 - 2017
      • Table Telecom market revenue by sector – 2007 - 2017
      • Table Telecom market revenue share by sector – 2013 - 2017
  • REGULATORY ENVIRONMENT
    • REGULATORY AUTHORITIES
      • ASEP
      • ACODECO
    • PRIVATISATION OF INTEL
    • TELECOM SECTOR LIBERALISATION
    • INTERCONNECT
    • NUMBER PORTABILITY (NP)
      • Table Fixed number portings – 2012 - 2016
  • FIXED NETWORK OPERATORS IN PANAMA
    • OVERVIEW
      • Table Fixed-line call traffic by type – 2007 - 2017
    • CABLE & WIRELESS PANAMÁ
      • Table C&WP mobile, broadband and fixed-line subscribers – 2009 - 2018
      • Table C&WP mobile, broadband and fixed lines ARPU – 2007 – 2015
      • Table C&WP mobile, broadband and fixed-line revenue – 2009 – 2017
      • Table C&WP revenue – 2016 - 2017
    • CABLE ONDA/TELECARRIER
      • Advanced Communication Network (ACN)
    • CLAROCOM (GALAXY COMMUNICATIONS CORP)
    • OPTYNEX TELECOM
    • MOVISTAR
  • TELECOMMUNICATIONS INFRASTRUCTURE
    • NATIONAL TELECOM NETWORK
      • Fixed-line statistics
        • Table Historic - Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 1997 – 2009
        • Table Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 2010 – 2018
        • Table Public telephones – 1998 - 2017
    • INTERNATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE
      • Interconnection with other Central American countries
      • Submarine cable networks
      • Satellite networks
        • Table International bandwidth – 2008 - 2016
    • INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENTS
      • Wireless Local Loop (WLL)
  • WHOLESALE
  • BROADBAND MARKET
    • INTRODUCTION AND STATISTICAL OVERVIEW
      • Broadband statistics
        • Table Historic - Internet users and user penetration rate – 1997 - 2009
        • Table Internet users and user penetration rate – 2010 - 2018
        • Table Dial-up/broadband market share – 1998 – 2012
        • Table Dial-up internet subscribers – 2007 – 2015
        • Table Historic - Broadband subscribers and penetration rates – 1998 - 2009
        • Table Broadband subscribers and penetration rates – 2010 - 2018
        • Table Broadband market share by technology – 2000 - 2017
        • Table Broadband subscribers, DSL and cable – 2001 - 2018
      • Red Nacional de Internet (RNI)
    • FORECASTS – FIXED BROADBAND MARKET 2019; 2021; 2023
      • Table Forecast broadband growth–– 2019; 2021; 2023
    • HYBRID FIBRE COAX (HFC) NETWORKS
      • Table Cable broadband subscribers - 2010 - 2018
    • ASYMMETRIC DIGITAL SUBSCRIBER LINE (ADSL)
      • Table C&WP – DSL subscribers - 2005 - 2018
      • Table DSL subscribers (regulator data) - 2010 - 2018
    • G.FAST
    • FIBRE-TO-THE-PREMISES (FTTP)
      • Table FttP subscribers - 2008 - 2018
    • WIMAX
      • Table Wi-Fi and WiMAX broadband subscribers – 2008 - 2017
    • SATELLITE BROADBAND
  • DIGITAL ECONOMY
    • EHEALTH
  • MOBILE MARKET
    • MARKET ANALYSIS
      • Mobile statistics
        • Table Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 1998 - 2009
        • Table Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 2010 - 2018
        • Table Mobile prepaid/postpaid ratio – 1998 - 2017
        • Table Mobile prepaid/postpaid subscribers – 2007 - 2017
        • Table Mobile outgoing traffic by type – 2007 - 2017
      • Mobile data
        • Table SMS traffic – 2007 - 2016
      • Mobile broadband
        • Table Active mobile broadband subscribers – 2010 - 2018
    • FORECASTS – MOBILE MARKET 2019; 2021; 2023
      • Table Forecast mobile subscriber growth – 2019; 2021; 2023
    • REGULATORY ISSUES
      • Spectrum auction – 2008
      • Licence concession – 2013
      • 700MHz spectrum
      • AWS spectrum
      • Infrastructure sharing
      • Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
        • Table Mobile number portings – 2011 - 2016
    • MOBILE INFRASTRUCTURE
      • 4G (LTE)
        • Table LTE mobile subscribers – 2016 – 2017
      • 3G
      • 2G
    • MAJOR MOBILE OPERATORS
      • +Móvil (C&WP)
        • Table C&WP – mobile subscribers – 2005 – 2018
      • Movistar (Telefónica)
      • Digicel Panamá
      • Claro Panamá (América Móvil)
  • RELATED REPORTS

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