Panama has opened the doors for a third operator to enter its market to fill the void left by the exit of Digicel Panama, by opening pre-qualification for the operator’s mobile licence this week.
CommsUpdate reported, Autoridad Nacional de los Servicios Publicos (ASEP), Panama’s national public services authority, is aiming to begin the first stage of the licensing processes on March 16. The acquirer of the licence will also be able to purchase certain Digicel assets.
The regulator said: “We reiterate to all Digicel customers, as well as to its collaborators and suppliers, that the company continues to operate hand-in-hand with the auditor, providing its services without interruptions. Digicel will maintain its operations until the entry of the new operator and, in addition, it will accompany the new company in the transition process.”
Digicel revealed in April 2022, intentions to liquidate due to the merger between rivals Cable & Wireless Panama which operates the +Movil brand and Claro, as it believed the merger will lead to unfair competition in the market. Digicel had previously said if the merger went ahead it “cannot continue to fund the semblance of a three-player market”.
Currently, Millicom’s Tigo Panama is the only operator competing against the merged entity of CWP/Claro. Despite the merger, Millicom took full control of Tigo as part of its plans to deepen operations in Latin America.