Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC) has announced that its Panamanian subsidiary has secured long term access to several large blocks of radio spectrum in a development which it claims will ‘enable the continued growth of mobile data services’. Confirming that a new 20-year mobile concession had been approved by the Cabinet Council of Panama, the operator’s extended licence will run from 24 October 2017 to 24 October 2037, with Cable & Wireless Panama paying USD100 million for both existing and new frequencies. As per the new licence, CWC noted that alongside retaining access to a 25MHz block of spectrum in the 850MHz band and a 10MHz block of 1900MHz spectrum, it will gain an additional 10MHz in the latter band. Further, the operator will also gain 20MHz in the 700MHz band when it is made available in August 2014. The cost of the new spectrum was said to have been calculated by the Autoridad Nacional de los Servicios Publicos (ASEP) based on the price paid by local mobile operators for the last blocks of mobile spectrum sold in Panama in 2008. Payment for the updated concession, meanwhile, will be satisfied from existing cash resources, CWC said.
Commenting on the development, Tony Rice, CWC’s chief executive officer, noted: ‘We are proud to have served the Panama telecoms market since 1997, remaining the market leader over that period despite intense competition. In securing our long term future this agreement cements our position and ensures we can remain and grow as the best data provider in Panama.’