In the News from Panama

Tigo Panama Investing $100 Million to Upgrade Network

One of Panama’s leading telecom providers is pledging to spend more than $100 million to upgrade its network, including an expansion of fiber optic service.

Tigo Panama says the latest investments will be used to increase its LTE capacity in the country, which is part of its preparation for the implementation of 5G. Currently, the Tigo LTE network covers 95% of the population, part of Panama’s established communications and internet infrastructure. More than 90,000 homes will be added to the fiber optic network.

Tigo’s mission is to continue developing the “digital highways that close the digital divide and contribute to the inclusive technological transformation” of Panama, General Manager Marcelo Benitez said in a statement.

Tigo has already invested more than $475 million in Panama since Millicom International Cellular purchased Cable Onda in December 2018. Last June, Millicom acquired the remaining 20% of shares in the company that it didn’t own, as part of its continued investment in Panama.

Millicom has made expansion in Panama a top priority, as it grows its presence in Latin America. Its main rival is Cable & Wireless Panama, a subsidiary of Liberty Latin America, which purchased Claro Panama for $200 million last year.

The consolidation and growing competition have resulted in millions in new investments in telecommunications infrastructure in the country. The latest announcement by Tigo is a sign that the company is serious about upgrading its Panama network and securing more customers with better service options. 

The competition is expected to increase in the near future. Autoridad Nacional de los Servicios Publicos (ASEP), Panama’s national public services authority, is reportedly looking for a third provider to replace Digicel, which left the market in the face of the new competition. The agency expects to start the process of licensing a new provider in March.