Irish-owned wireless group Digicel and America Movil (Claro) have won 20 year concessions to offer wireless services using 30MHz in the 1900MHz frequency band. Digicel bid USD86 million for the licence, beating the USD73 million offered by Claro Panama. A third firm, Millicom International Cellular, dropped out of the running at the last minute, and as a result the Panamanian government asked Claro to match Digicel’s offer. The two firms will compete with Cable & Wireless Panama and Movistar.
The licence is Digicel’s fourth in Central America, where the company has operations in El Salvador, is planning a launch in Honduras this year and holds spectrum to eventually launch in Guatemala. ‘Panama is a very exciting win for us and solidifies our presence in the region. Just as in Honduras and El Salvador, there is huge potential for growth in this mobile market and Digicel looks forward to becoming a strong competitor,’ Digicel Group’s CEO Colm Delves said.