Millicom eyes Panama mobile market

26 Oct 2018

Millicom International Cellular (MIC), which unveiled the USD1 billion takeover of Panama-based Cable Onda earlier this month, has indicated its desire to enter the Panamanian mobile market when the cableco takeover closes in January 2019. Speaking with analysts on a conference call to discuss the group’s 3Q18 results (as quoted by Seeking Alpha), CEO Mauricio Ramos remarked that MIC is in a strong position in both Costa Rica and Panama, because nationwide cable networks give the telco ‘optionality’ on mobile. Cable Onda currently passes 715,000 homes with its HFC networks, claiming 365,000 connected homes.

With reference to the Panamanian government’s ongoing attempts to reduce the four-player wireless market down to three, Ramos noted: ‘There is a meaningful opportunity … It’s just a matter of being in the driver’s seat. It’s early days for us, but we are bullish as we are about the speed at which we’re incorporating Panama.’

TeleGeography notes that the government approved the previously proposed Law No. 479, which includes a clause to reduce the number of active mobile players, in May this year, as it seeks to make better use of the country’s spectrum resources.

Panama, Millicom International Cellular (MIC), Tigo Panama (formerly Cable Onda)