Digicel has launched what it claims is a ‘4.5G’ LTE service in Panama, following a USD100 million investment programme. Branded ‘LTE Pro’, the new service was unveiled on social media late last month. Local news site La Estrella quotes Ana Patricia Salazar, executive director of Digicel Panama, as saying that the network is capable of delivering download speeds of up to 180Mbps, noting: ‘We are one step away from 5G.’ Ms. Salazar also observed that the LTE network offers 30% more coverage than any of Digicel’s cellular rivals.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, Panama’s National Public Services Authority (Autoridad Nacional de los Servicios Publicos, ASEP) issued Digicel with 2×10MHz blocks of 700MHz spectrum in the 738MHz-748MHz/793MHz-803MHz bands in January 2018. The spectrum was priced at USD22.571 million, with the watchdog stipulating that the frequencies must be put into use within twelve months (i.e. by January 2019).