Panama’s public services regulator Asep has opened a public consultation regarding the proposed redistribution of mobile numbers in preparation for both the introduction of number portability (NP) and two new entrants due to win licences this year, writes BNamericas citing an Asep statement. Interested parties have until 13 February to make comments. Panama has ten million numbers available for mobile telephony, of which some four million have already been assigned to the pair of existing operators Cable & Wireless and Movistar. Blocks of numbers from the remaining six million may be requested by the two existing operators or by the new entrants, Asep’s deputy networks director Horacio Hoquee was quoted as saying. Mobile NP is due to enter into operation in April this year. Fixed line NP has existed for several years.
In related news, the representatives of the three companies prequalified for an auction for two new mobile licences met on Monday with Asep, holding the first of a series of meetings to iron out the details of the concession contracts and bidding rules, Hoquee said. The auction is due to be launched on 7 March and economic bids due to be received by 3 April. Digicel, Millicom International Cellular and America Movil have pre-qualified; a fourth company, France’s Wirefree Services, was disqualified for failing to meet legal, technical and financial requirements