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Panama - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Digital Media - Statistics and Analyses

  • April 2016
  • -
  • Paul Budde Communication Pty Ltd
  • -
  • 45 pages

Panama's internet and mobile sectors prop up revenue growth

Panama's economic prospects remain promising despite a dip in GDP growth during the last few years. Nevertheless, growth remains high, at above 6% annually, and this has had a positive knock-on effect on the country's telecom market, which has also grown steadily and attracted considerable investment. Liberty Global in October 2015 made a bid to acquire Cable & Wireless Communications, which owns the incumbent telco Cable & Wireless Panama. The deal was accepted by Liberty Global shareholders in April 2016, and when completed it will enable Liberty Global to combine CWP's businesses in Panama and the Caribbean with its own operations in Chile and Puerto Rico. The merged operator will provide improved bundled service offerings and stimulate competition with the other regional players Digicel and Claro.

Telecom revenue has broached $1 billion during the last few years, and continues to increase steadily, 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 above 174%, 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 2016 and into 2017 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 2015 (e)
Service | Penetration
Broadband | 8.1%
Fixed-line | 15.6%
Mobile (SIM): | 174%
(Source: BuddeComm)

Key developments:

Movistar, Claro and C&WP extend reach of LTE services;
Liberty Global acquires C&W Communications;
C&WP contracts Ericsson to develop VoLTE and Wi-Fi Calling services;
C&WP trials G-fast technology with Huawei;
Mobile number portability encouraging competition in the mobile sector;
The Internet for All (RNI) project helping drive internet penetration;
Panama in Phase 2 of the switch to digital broadcasting, with the process expected to be complete by September 2017;
Columbus signs on to manage the SAPL cable landing in Panama;
Regulator invests $12 million to distribute 400,000 STBs in a bid to encourage DTTV take-up;
Broadband for Central America project aims to closing the digital divide by 2020.
C&WP launches its +TV Digital DTH platform, aiming to provide content to remote areas which cannot receive cable services;
Report update includes the regulator's market data to December 2015, operator data to Q4 2015, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

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

Table Of Contents

Panama - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Digital Media - Statistics and Analyses
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 and Wireless Panamá
5.2.1 Cable and 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 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 2016; 2018; 2021
8.3 Hybrid Fibre Coax (HFC) networks
8.4 Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL)
8.5 G.fast
8.6 WiMAX
9. Digital Media
9.1 Introduction
9.2 Cable TV
9.2.1 Cable Onda
9.2.2 +TV Digital (CandWP)
9.3 Satellite-based digital pay TV developments
9.4 Digital Terrestrial TV (DTTV)
9.5 Triple-play models
9.6 Videostreaming
9.7 IPTV (Broadband TV)
10. Mobile market
10.1 Overview of Panama's mobile market
10.1.1 Mobile statistics
10.2 Forecasts mobile market 2016; 2018; 2021
10.3 Regulatory issues
10.3.1 Spectrum auction 2008
10.3.2 New licence concession 2013
10.3.3 Infrastructure sharing
10.4 Mobile infrastructure
10.4.1 Overview
10.4.2 Third Generation (3G) mobile networks (UMTS)
10.4.3 HSPA+
10.4.4 Long-term Evolution (LTE)
10.4.5 Satellite broadband
10.5 Major mobile operators
10.5.1 +Móvil (CandWP)
10.5.2 Movistar (Telefónica)
10.5.3 Digicel Panamá
10.5.4 Claro Panamá (America Móvil)
11. Related reports

Tables and Charts

Table 1 Country statistics Panama 2015 (e)
Table 2 Telephone network statistics 2015 (e)
Table 3 Internet user statistics 2015 (e)
Table 4 Broadband statistics 2015 (e)
Table 5 Mobile statistics 2015 (e)
Table 6 National telecommunications authority
Table 7 Evolution of GDP in Panama 2000 - 2015
Table 8 Telecom market revenue 2000 - 2016
Table 9 Telecom market revenue by sector 2007 - 2015
Table 10 Telecom market revenue share by sector 2013 - 2015
Table 11 Number of telecom concessions 2015
Table 12 Fixed-line call traffic by type 2007 - 2015
Table 13 CandWP mobile, broadband and fixed-line subscribers 2010 - 2015
Table 14 CandWP mobile, broadband and fixed lines ARPU 2007 2015
Table 15 CandWP mobile, broadband and fixed-line revenue 2009 2015
Table 16 Historic - Fixed lines in service and teledensity 1997 2009
Table 17 Fixed lines in service and teledensity 2010 2016
Table 18 Public telephones 1998 - 2010
Table 19 Historic - Internet users and user penetration rate 1997 - 2009
Table 20 Internet users and user penetration rate 2010 - 2016
Table 21 Dial-up/broadband market share 1998 2012
Table 22 Dial-up internet subscribers 2007 2013
Table 23 Historic - Broadband subscribers and penetration rates 1998 - 2009
Table 24 Broadband subscribers and penetration rates 2010 - 2016
Table 25 Broadband market share by technology 2000 - 2015
Table 26 Broadband subscribers, DSL and cable 2001 - 2015
Table 27 Forecast broadband growth 2016; 2018; 2021
Table 28 Cable broadband subscribers - 2010 - 2015
Table 29 CandWP DSL subscribers - 2005 - 2015
Table 30 DSL subscribers (regulator data) - 2010 - 2015
Table 31 Wi-Fi and WiMAX broadband subscribers 2008 - 2015
Table 32 Interactive TV subscribers 2007 - 2015
Table 33 Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 1998 - 2009
Table 34 Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 2010 - 2016
Table 35 Mobile prepaid/postpaid ratio 1998 - 2015
Table 36 Mobile prepaid/postpaid subscribers 2007 - 2015
Table 37 Mobile outgoing traffic by type 2007 - 2015
Table 38 Mobile broadband subscribers 2010 - 2015
Table 39 Forecast mobile subscriber growth 2016; 2018; 2021
Table 40 CandWP mobile subscribers 2005 2015
Chart 1 CandWP mobile, broadband and fixed-line subscribers 2010 2015
Chart 2 CandWP mobile, broadband and fixed lines ARPU 2007 2015
Chart 3 CandWP mobile, broadband and fixed lines revenue 2009 2015
Chart 4 Fixed lines in service and teledensity 2002 2016
Chart 5 Internet users and user penetration rate 2002 2016
Chart 6 Broadband subscribers, DSL and cable 2001 2015
Chart 7 Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 2002 2016
Exhibit 1 Cable and 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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