Panamanian cellco Claro Panama is planning to invest around USD150 million on the expansion of its wireless network between 2013 and 2014, according to the Latin American Herald Tribune. Citing comments made by the telco’s marketing chief Antonio Garcia, the report claims that Claro has spent some USD600 million on the rollout of its mobile infrastructure since acquiring its concession in 2008. In outlining its future expenditure plans, the executive also noted that, while the operator had ‘not really made money yet’, it expects to become profitable within ten to 15 years.
As noted in TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, in May 2008 Mexico-based mobile giant America Movil (AM) won a 20-year concession to offer wireless services in Panama using 30MHz in the 1900MHz frequency band. Having announced that it would offer services using AM’s preferred Claro branding, in February 2009 it was revealed that launch would be delayed until April that year following problems encountered in completing the installation of base stations needed for its network. Having been granted an extension on the deadline to complete its rollout by ASEP to 27 March 2009, Claro Panama quietly began offering both 2G and 3G services that month. The cellco’s official launch however was not forthcoming until 16 April, at which date the operator claimed it had invested around USD150 million in rolling out services in the Central American country.