Panama increases connectivity via the Aurora and Caribbean Express cables

Panama increases connectivity via the Aurora and Caribbean Express cables

Panama has seen a steady increase in revenue from the telecom sector in recent years. Mobile services and broadband remain the key growth sectors, with mobile connections accounting for 90% of all connections, and over half of telecom sector revenue.

The mobile sector has flourished since the arrival of Digicel Panamá in 2008 and of América Móvil in 2009, which ended the duopoly long enjoyed by Cable & Wireless Panamá and Telefónica’s Movistar. Millicom International Cellular (trading as Tigo) acquired Telefónica’s telecom assets in Panama in 2019. The mobile market has effective competition among these players.

Internet penetration has grown in recent years as consumers responded to government fixed-line projects, improved mobile broadband connectivity and a plethora of mobile applications.

BuddeComm notes that the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic continues to have a significant impact on production and supply chains globally. Since 2020 the telecoms sector, to various degrees, has experienced a downturn in mobile device production. It was also difficult for network operators to manage workflows when maintaining and upgrading existing infrastructure. Overall progress towards 5G has been postponed or slowed down in some countries.

On the consumer side, spending on telecoms services and devices is under pressure from the financial effect of large-scale job losses and the consequent restriction on disposable incomes. However, the crucial nature of telecom services, both for general communication as well as a tool for home working, has offset such pressures. In many markets the net effect will continue to be a steady though reduced increased in subscriber growth.

Although it is challenging to predict and interpret the long-term impacts of the pandemic, these have been acknowledged in the industry forecasts contained in this report.

The report also covers the responses of the telecom operators as well as government agencies and regulators as they react to the crisis to ensure that citizens can continue to make optimum use of telecom services. This can be reflected in subsidy schemes and the promotion of tele-health and tele-education, among other solutions.

This report update includes the regulator's market data to September 2021, operator data to September 2021, Telecom Maturity Index charts and analyses, assessment of the global impact of Covid-19 on the telecoms sector, and other recent market developments.

Key developments

  • Liberty Latin America reaches agreement with América Móvil to acquire Claro Panamá for $200 million.
  • Movistar and Cable Onda are rebranded as Tigo.
  • Panama’s Digital Transformation and Inclusion Strategy Aid Program secures a $350 million loan.
  • Regulator extends temporary spectrum allocations in the AWS band.
  • Aurora cable system expected to be ready for service at the end of 2022.
  • Caribbean Express submarine cable system is launched.

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Developing Telecoms market report summaries are produced in partnership with BuddeComm, the world’s largest continually updated online telecommunications research service.

The above article is a summary of the following BuddeComm report:

Report title: Panama - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Edition: December 2021

Analyst: Henry Lancaster

Number of pages: 153

Companies mentioned in this report: América Móvil, Cable and Wireless Panama, Claro, Cable Onda, FP Telecommunications, Google, Optynex Telecom, Digicel, Ericsson, Huawei, Liberty Latin America (LLA), Millicom International Cellular (MIC), Movistar, Ocean Networks, Tigo Panama

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