C&W Panama throws hat into LTE ring

12 Mar 2015

On the back of investment totalling more than USD120 million, Cable & Wireless Panama (C&WP) has launched 700MHz Long Term Evolution-based (LTE-based) services. The cellco’s 4G network is initially available in twelve areas of the capital Panama City, as well as in the city of David, in the Chiriqui province. Coverage is expected to be expanded across the country in the coming months. Only post-paid tariffs are currently available, with residential consumers having three options, each offering different data usage allowances; the top-end plan provides 5GB of data per month for PAB54.99 (USD54.99), while an entry-level tariff gives 2GB for PAB24.99.

As noted in TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, in October 2013 C&WP’s parent company Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC) confirmed that its Panamanian subsidiary had secured a new 20-year mobile licence, valid from 24 October 2017. Under the terms of the updated concession C&WP was given access to a total of 65MHz of spectrum (including 30MHz of new spectrum) for a one-off cost of USD100 million. With C&WP having retained access to 25MHz of spectrum in the 850MHz band, as well as 10MHz in the 1900MHz band, it was handed a further 10MHz block in the latter frequency range. Notably, it also gained access to 20MHz of spectrum in the 700MHz band from mid-2014, and it has now made good on its parent company’s claims that these frequencies would enable it to introduce a commercial 4G service in Panama by March 2015.