Panama Telco/Cable Market

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Company Overview of Cable Onda in Panama

Cable Onda is a telecommunications company in Panama that offers TV, wireless and phone services. They have a wide range of products and technology including both satellite and digital options. Cable Onda is a private company and because of this market share information was very limited and not recent.
Cable Onda offers packages for both residential and business clients that are broken down into different sizes by the products included in them. Business packages are listed, but there are no associated costs because they are all done by custom quote. All prices will be in the Panamanian Balboa which is how they are listed on the website.
Cost: B/ 29.43 every other week (B/ 58.86 per month)
Included: Play HD, 30 Megas, Wi-Fi Xtreme Pro
Cost: B/ 34.83 every other week (B/ 69.66 per month)
Included: Play HD, Unlimited Cable Plan, 60 Megas, Wifi Xtreme Pro
Cost: B/ 39.08 every other week (B/ 578.16 per month)
Included: Super Family, Unlimited Cable Plan, 60 Megas, Wifi Xtreme Pro
Cost: 10.71 every other week (21.41 per month)
Included: More than 75 channels
Cost: 13.82 every other week (27.64 per month)
Included: More than 90 channels
Play HD 27.50
Plan Favorite 47.10
HBO On Demand 10.99
FOX+ On Demand 10.99
Various On Demand Channels are between 1.50 and 25.00
The list of channels for the Play HD, Super Family Plan, and Plan Favorite are listed in this channel guide.
Call Transfer 1.00
Caller ID 1.00
Cost: Custom Quote
Included: 2 lines with 600 local minutes, Enterprise Internet HFC 10Mbps/3 Mbps
Cost: Custom Quote
Included: 2 lines with 600 local minutes, Enterprise Internet HFC 20Mbps/5 Mbps
Cost: Custom Quote
Included: 2 lines with 600 local minutes, Enterprise Internet HFC 60Mbps/5 Mbps, Wifi PRO Pyme
Cost: Custom Quote
Included: 2 lines with 600 local minutes, Enterprise Internet HFC 100Mbps/5 Mbps, Wifi PRO Pyme
Individual prices were not available for business products, but they offer the following categories of services to businesses. In each category, there was no specific breakdown of services within the categories.
Cable Onda offers a wide variety of options when it comes to the technology the company provides. They provide digital antenna and satellite antenna technology to residential clients, along with Video On Demand and HD TV services. Business customers are provided technology depending on their custom plans.
After an extensive search of industry reports and government papers, there was very little information found regarding the market share of Cable Onda. The only information found stated that in 2011 Cable Onda had 11.3% of the fixed telephone market. No other data points were available regarding TV or Internet services, nor anything more recent. Cable Onda is a privately-owned company which is likely the reason that there is little available information on their market share.
Cable Onda is a privately held company in Panama that offers TV, internet, and phone services to residential and business clients. Packages range in price depending on the products included, and business plans are done by custom quote with the company. They offer digital antenna and satellite antenna technology to their clients.
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Company Overview of Digicel in Panama

Digicel Group Limited is a private telecommunications company with services in the Caribbean, South Pacific, and Central America. They provide services to individual customers, retail operations, business enterprises and government customers. Digicel was founded in 2000 and is based in Hamilton, Bermuda. Globally, they have over 14 million subscribers and report over $5 billion invested in their 32 markets.

In Panama specifically, Digicel launched their network in December 2008. Currently, Digicel in Panama only offers mobile telephone products to regular customers. TV and Internet products are only available for business customers under Digicel's subsidiary, Digicel Empresas.

Below, you will find an analysis of Digicel Panama's retail operation, including their product offerings, price packages, supported technologies and their current and historical market share.

Product Offerings and Price Packages

For mobile products, Digicel offers both contract and prepaid plans. Pricing varies based on talk time, data and text message (SMS) use, as well as factors like if you bring your own phone and which social media services you would like to use.

Contract plans without phone included start at 30.00 Balboa per month for 500 minutes of talk time, 4 GB of data for non-social media activities, 3 GB of data for YouTube and 10 GB of data for social networks (Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, etc) and 25 SMS. The most expensive contract plan is 70.00 Balboa per month for 1400 minutes, 12 GB of data for non-social media activities, 3 GB of data for YouTube, 10 GB of Data for social networks and 100 SMS.

Contract plans with phone included start at 40.00 Balboa per month for 500 minutes of talk time, 3 GB of data for internet browsing, 3 GB of data for YouTube, 10 GB of data for social networks, and 25 SMS. The most expensive contract plan with a phone included is 110.00 Balboa per month for 1400 minutes of talk time, 8 GB of browsing data, 3 GB of YouTube data, 10 GB of social network data, and 100 SMS.

Prepaid plans vary by how many days you would like to use them (3-30 days). The three-day plan has 400 MB of data and twenty talk minutes and costs 2.99 Balboa. The thirty-day plan has 12 GB of data, broken down into 2 GB for internet use and 10 GB for social network use, 150 minutes of talk time, and fifty SMS. Additionally, they have prepaid plans that only include data.

Digicel offers additional services for free to their mobile customers including: number potability, ad control service, rollover data and minutes, and free navigation for UBER drivers. They also offer exclusive Digicel Mobile Apps including:
My Digicel: allows customers to manage their Digicel account
on their smartphone
D'Music: exclusive Digicel music app
Digicel Top Up: allows customers to refill their accounts and
send balances to other smartphones


Digicel's mobile network operates on both 4G and LTE networks. Digicel and Cable and Wireless Panama, the countries other top mobile provider, have been the driving forces behind investment in the 4G and LTE networks in the country. As demand for high-speed mobile data and availability of LTE-capable smartphones increase, it is expected that LTE subscriptions in Panama will continue to rise to 2021.

Market Share

Digicel gained market share quickly in Panama, capturing 16% of the mobile service market by 2010, just two years after their debut in the country. By 2013, Digicel had gained another 6% of the market, with a total 22% of the market share. Some of this gain is attributed to the introduction of number potability in 2011, but this impact seems small. More likely the growth was due to better prices and the introduction of prepaid plans, as well as Digicel's investment in 4G and LTE networks.

While an exact market share value for Digicel could not be found for more recent years (2016 or 2017), it was determined that in 2016 Digicel and Cable Wireless Panama combined accounted for 57.7% of the mobile market in Panama. In 2013, it was reported that Cable and Wireless Panama held 25% of the mobile market, having lost almost half their market share between 2010 and 2013. Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that in 2016 Digicel held somewhere between 25%-27% of the mobile market, due to the fact that Cable and Wireless Panama is the leading mobile company in the region. It is important to note that as of 2016 the mobile penetration rate in Panama was at 172.8%, so in future years companies will need to shift their focus from attracting new customers — those whom have never had a mobile phone — to convincing customers to switch from one carrier to another, either with better services, lower prices or newer phones.


Digicel is one of the top mobile service providers in Panama, offering a wide range of mobile packages and phones that allow users to customize their experience. Digicel has been successful in attracting customers from other providers in the region by having competitive prices and by investing in high speed 4G and LTE technology. Based on their continued gain in market share, one can assume Digicel will continue to increase in market share for the foreseeable future.

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Company Overview of Movistar in Panama

Movistar is the primary Spanish mobile cell phone service provider and is owned by Telefonica. They offer a variety of plans to individuals, businesses, and corporations in Panama. In addition to cell phone plans, they offer data management plans, cloud solutions, advertising, security, internet, applications, and fixed plans.


After extensive research, market share information was only available for the years 2010 and 2015. Additionally, pricing is not listed for their business products and plans.


Movistar offers mobile cell phone service for individuals, businesses, and companies in Panama. It is the main Spanish mobile telephone operator owned by Telefonica.

Individual Plans

They offer prepaid plans that have voice, data, and texting packaged together. There is a link to purchase more voice, texting, and data. They also have information on data plans, services, a Movistar app, and international roaming. Additional information is available on their LTE service which is the mobile communications standard for 4G and the technology that they use. Movistar’s website for Panama also has an online store and sells cell phones.

Pricing is as follows: 40 minutes of talk, 40 SMS, and 1.5 GB is B/.10.; 20 minutes of talk, 20 SMS, and 1.1 GB is B/.5; 10 minutes of talk, 10 SMS, and 525 MB is B/.3; 5 minutes of talk, 5 SMS, and 250 MB is B/.2.

The price to buy roaming data in other countries is as follows: Central America and Mexico are free; Canada, U.S., Columbia, Honduras, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, and South America are B/.5 daily; and Belgium, Sweden, Switzerland, Greece, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain, United Kingdom, and Israel are B/.10 daily.

The website says that they offer other country packages except for Australia, Bermuda, Cuba, Egypt, Greece, and cruises. They provide links to activate Europe and Central America, but there is no information on price.

Additional voice prepaid pricing for calls to people within Panama is B/.08 each minute to talk to all Movistar mobiles and B/.15 for calls to other networks. Additional text pricing is B/.07 per text. Pricing to receive and make calls outside of Panama to Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Columbia, El Salvador, United States, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Venezuela is B/.10 for 20 minutes and B/.20 for 40 minutes.

Pricing for additional data plans is as follows: 51 GB is B/.150; 45 GB is B/.130; 39 GB is B/.100; 24GB is B/.60; 15 GB is B/.40; 10.5 GB is B/.30; 7.5 GB is B/.20; and 2 GB is B/.15.

Businesses and Corporations

For businesses, Movistar offers mobile cell phone plane. Their solutions are Mobile Telephony, Team Talk, Connected Business, and Mobile bandwidth.

They also provide fixed services like Fixed Telephony Commercial, Corporate Fixed Telephony, and Unified Communication.

Their security offerings are Secure Mobile device management and McAfee Antivirus.

Under advertising, it shows that they offer Data Sponsored.

There is no information provided on the cost of these services.

Market Share

In 2010, Movistar’s market share for the telecommunication sector was 30%.

In 2015, Movistar’s market share for the telecommunication sector was 41.58%


Telefonica owns Movistar, the primary Spanish mobile cell phone service provider. In Panama, they offer a variety of services for individuals, businesses, and corporations. Providing more than just cell phones for businesses, they offer solutions like internet security, internet plans, advertising, data management, fixed plans, and applications.


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Company Overview of Claro in Panama

Operating in Panama since 2009, Claro, a subsidiary of America Movil, offers prepaid and monthly cellular plans on a network with 2G/3G and 4G LTE capabilities. They also offer TV, subscription music and video, and business telecommunications services. Claro is the second-largest importer of cell phones in Panama and has a 27% share of the country's mobile provider market. Read on for my full rundown!


Claro's mobile network has both 2G/3G and 4G LTE capabilities -- they boast "the fastest network in Panama." Their Panama TV packages are satellite-based as well, but Claro has deployed fiber optics for TV service in Paraguay as of 2017.

Below I've provided an outline of Claro's consumer product offerings and price packages. Claro also has a subscription music and video service as well as business-focused offerings for telephony and internet, but doesn't list prices for these products. Prices are listed in Panama's currency, Balboa, which converts 1:1 to USD according to XE's currency converter.

1B/day - 150 MB data, 20 minutes voice, 0 SMS
3B/4 days - 400 MB data, 10 minutes voice, 10 SMS
5B/7 days - 800 MB data, 50 minutes voice, 25 SMS
10B/15 days - 1.5 GB data, 100 minutes voice, 50 SMS

Bundle Sin Frontero
24.99B/month - 3.5GB data, 200 minutes to Claro, 200 minutes to other carriers, 200 SMS to Claro
29.99B/month - 4 GB data, 300 minutes to Claro, 300 minutes to other carriers, 300 SMS to Claro

Traido Team Bundle
24.99B/month - 7 GB data, 200 minutes to Claro, 200 minutes to other carriers, 200 SMS to Claro
29.99B/month - 8 GB data, 300 minutes to Claro, 300 minutes to other carriers, 300 SMS to Claro

200B/month - 75 GB data, unlimited minutes and SMS to Claro

(all prepaid)
2.99B - 350 MB
4.99B - 750 MB
9.99B - 1.5 GB
14.99B - 3 GB
19.99B - 4 GB
24.99B - 5 GB
29.99B - 6 GB
49.99B - 10 GB

19.99B/month - 76 channels, 4 HD channels
27.99B/month - 133 channels, 27 HD channels
34.99B/month - 132 channels, 38 HD channels


Claro started operations in Panama in 2009. In 2010, they had just a 0.7% market share but were predicted to grow to 11.7% by 2015. They beat that projection by 2013, when they captured 17% of Panama's total cellular provider market.

Today, Claro is the second-largest importer of cell phones in Panama, bringing in $7.72 million of devices in the first quarter of 2017. According to their parent company, America Movil, Claro has a 27% market share in Panama's mobile provider market. This paid market report may give more specific information on Claro's market share in Panama.


Claro, a subsidiary of America Movil, provides prepaid and monthly wireless, mobile hot spot, satellite TV service, and more to customers in Panama. The second-largest importer of cell phones in the country, Claro holds a 27% market share after just eight years in operation in Panama.
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Cable/Telecommunication Services Demand in Panama


Panama is a top contender in telecommunications services in Central America, and around 50% of the television-owning population has cable. Annually the growth in the industry has been between 5-6% in the past few years. Typically, the average person in Panama can expect to pay between $216 and $480 for a cable subscription per year.


Panama is considered to be the communication's hub of Latin America. Panama has two of the busiest ports in Latin America, the Tocumen International Airport, and the Panama Canal. The Panama Canal is the interconnection point of international cables which creates an advantage for Panama in communications. This advantage so far has low effect on Panama likely due to income related issues among the population.
In Panama, telecommunications is a growing industry where 919,000 households use TV services every day, and of these TV users, 423,000 have cable TV. This means that 46% of TV users have cable TV. Subscriptions for cable TV packages range in price depending on a few factors. Packages can have from 46-196 channels and cost about $18-$40 per month (which is $216-$480 per year). The cable industry used to target just the wealthy and therefore had very little competition in Panama, but in the past few years' competition has heavily increased leading to the wide range of prices seen today. During the last few years, telecommunications revenue has reached $1 billion in USD and is increasing with the growth of broadband and mobile services.
Historically, the trend in the number of households with TVs has been increasing since 2000. When the new millennium started 77.01% of households in Panama had TVs and in 2012 82.68% of households had TV's, which was an increase of 5.67% over 12 years. (This was found by doing the following calculation 82.68-77.01 and the increase per year is (82.68-77.01)/12.) Each year this is an increase of roughly 0.4725% per year between 2000 and 2012. This increase was steady over those 12 years in Panama and the percentages of households with TV's each year is listed below:
We were unable to find data on the years 2013-2017 but were able to find projections of some data. In 2013 a published figure stated that 11.68 million households in Latin America had digital cable TV. The figure predicted that in 2014, 14.74 million households would have digital cable TV and in 2020, as many as 33.25 million households would have digital cable TV. The data shows an increase in the number of households in Latin America that have digital cable TV. This gives credibility to a trend in Panama of an increase in digital cable TV. Panama is a little farther behind the rest of its Latin American neighbors when it comes to telecommunications and cable TV, but they are steadily catching up. One of the ways they are catching up is alternate operators are making use of currently established lines and networks throughout the country.


In Latin America, Panama is one of the leading contenders in telecommunications with 919,000 households having a TV, and 46% of those households having a cable subscription. Cable subscriptions are competitive and can cost from $216-$480 per year. While we could not determine how the percentage of users has changed in the last ten years, we were able to determine that between 2000 and 2012 there was a 5.67% increase in households that had TVs.