Cable/Telecommunication Services Demand in Panama
The Telecom services market in Panama was the third largest in Central America in 2016, with a total revenue estimated at 1.3 Bn USD, equivalent to 2.4% of the country’s GDP. The market has recorded an annual growth of 2.4% compared to 2015, thanks to fixed broadband and Pay TV, as well as mobile data segments. However, not all broadband providers offer TV services, whereas some companies bundle their products.
Wireless Voice — CELLULAR
In 2016, there were 752,243 subscriptions to cellular contracts in Panama compared to 166,083 in 2006. As the population of Panama was 4,034,119 in 2016, this represented a penetration rate of (752243/4034119)*100=18.65%. In 2006, the population was 3,391,905; so the penetration rate was (166083/3391905)*100= 4.9%. The growth of subscriptions between 2006 and 2016 has been (752243-166083)/166083*100=352.93%. The Compound Annual Growth rate CAGR has been ((7522243/166083)^(1/10))-1 = 46,4%.
Wireline Voice — Landline
In 2016, the penetration rate for landlines was 15.9% in Panama, which is very low compared to Mobile lines penetration rates at 127.5%. These data were confirmed by official statistics.
In terms of landlines, there were 641,688 fixed line subscriptions in Panama in 2016, compared to 488,308 subscriptions in 2006. Given that in 2016, the population was 4,034,119, the penetration rate of landlines was (641688/4034119)*100= 15.91%. In 2006, the population was 3,391,905 inhabitants so the penetration rate would have been (488308/3391905)*100 = 14.4%. The growth of subscribers between 2006 and 2016 has been (641688-488308)/488308*100= 31.41%. The Compound Annual Growth rate CAGR has been ((641688/488308)^(1/10))-1 = 2,77%.
Wireline Data — Fixed Broadband
Even if access to the internet is relatively high in Panama with 54%, the penetration rate of broadband is quite low compared to other Latin American countries. It reached 10% in 2016, below the Latin American average of 12%. In Central America, it falls behind Costa Rica but in front of Nicaragua and Guatemala.
Another source evaluated the broadband penetration at only 7,9% of the population in Panama in 2016, and this despite the fact that 53.9% of households had internet access at home.
Another source reveals that out of 3,975,404 people in Panama, there were 316,696 subscriptions for fixed broadband, which is equivalent to a penetration rate of (316696/3975404)*100 = 7.97 %
Wireline Video — Pay TV
In Panama, the cable TV market was 423,000 households in 2015 according to figures from governmental statistic sources.
In Panama, the average household size is composed of 3.86 persons. Out of a population of 3,969,249 inhabitants in 2015, that is a total of 3969249/3.86 = 1,028,302 households in total. Therefore, the penetration rate of Pay TV is (423000/1028302)*100= 41.1%.
In 2007, there were only a handful of subscribers to Pay TV in Panama with only 15,000. Between 2007 and 2015, in 8 years, the growth rate was (423000-15000)/15000*100= 2720%.
The Compound Annual Growth rate CAGR has been ((423000/15000)^(1/8))-1 = 51,8 %.
In terms of prices, most Telecom services in Panama come in a bundle including phone, pay TV, and fixed broadband. The average price for those services varies between $45/month and $60/month. This gives an average price of the average estimate of 45+60/2= $52.5. Therefore, the average annual spending for the bundle is 52.5*12= $630.
In terms of prices for pay TV services on their own, there are reports of offers between $18 to $40 a month. This gives an average price of the average estimate of 18+40/2= $29. Therefore, the average annual spending for the bundle is 29*12= $348.
Monthly prices of broadband internet service by itself has been estimated at between $20 and $42.85. This gives an average price of the average estimate of 20+42.85/2= $31.43. Therefore, the average annual spending for the bundle is 31.43*12= $377.16.
In 2016, there were 641,688 subscriptions to landlines; 423,000 to Pay TV (2015); 316,696 subscribers to broadband and 752,243 cellular subscriptions in Panama. The average households spend an average of $630 annually on internet/Pay TV/phone bundles. The country has experienced huge growth in the Telecom sector in the last 10 years.