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Research by Country/Region January 23, 2018  
Panama: Broadband Fixed Wireless Access

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A. CURRENT GOVERNMENT POLICY GOVERNING ACCESS TO THE WORLDWIDE FIXED WIRELESS ACCESS BAND (3.4 TO 3.7 GHZ), LMDS (28 TO 31 GHZ) AND UNLICENSED BAND

Worldwide fixed Wireless access Band 3.4 to 3.7 GHZ: There is no access available due to lack of specific guidelines from the Regulatory Body.

LMDS (28 to 31 MHZ): Access permitted.

Unlicensed Bands: Access permitted, but without frequency protection. The only requirement is that the user must register with the Regulatory Body.

B. DEMAND FOR BFW SERVICES

Yes, there is a demand for BFW services.

C. LICENSING

A license is required from the Regulatory Body (Ente Regulador). It falls under the service called: Mobile and Fixed Radiocommunication Services. Service Code: 202

Contact information for the Regulatory Body is:
Ente Regulador de Servicios Públicos (Ente)
Edificio Discount Bank & Trust Co.
Calle 50, Frente a Seguros ASSA
Panama City 5, Panama
Tel: 507-265-3555
Fax: 502-265-3511
Online: http://www.enteregulador.gob.pa
Contact: Horacio Robles, Telecomunications Division
E-mail: hrobles@enteregulador.gob.pa

Depending on the segments, the basics requirements to obtain a license are the following:
      1. The company has to be registered locally. It could be a new company and the shareholders could be foreign or national.
      2. The company must assure that it will follow guidelines provided by the ENTE. Each service provided should be accounted for separately.
      3. The company should provide a simple technical diagram showing the components of the network to be installed.
      4. The applicant should provide a schedule of the rates it will charge for its services.
      5. The applicant must provide a copy of the service contract to be signed by its customers.
      6. The company must provide Information on PBXs, equipment and associated carriers that will be used to provide the service.
      7. The applicant must pay a fee of US$100 per license, by certificated check, payable to ENTE REGULADOR DE LOS SERVICIOS PUBLICOS.
      8. All of these documents must be presented during the first five working days of each month.
      The Ente will respond during the next 30 days following the application date. No lawyers or certified technician are necessary to make the application. There is no limit to the number of new operators in the market.

D. FOREIGN OWNERSHIP LIMITATIONS

None. The only requirement is that foreign companies must be registered in Panama.

E. BFW CONNECTION FEES

The law determines that interconnection fees are to be negotiated separately with network operators.

F. OTHER POLICIES AND REGULATIONS

None.

G. TO WHAT EXTENT ARE BFW SERVICES BEING OFFERED BY DOMESTIC AND INTERNATIONAL FIRMS?

The BFW services are being offered by international firms, such as Cable & Wireless and Bellsouth.

H. CURRENT LIST BFW ACCESS PROVIDERS

The law established Service Code 202 for Fixed and Mobile Radiocommunication Services. Under this category there are 543 providers. Of these, 27 are commercial companies and 516 private. There is no way to determine which ones are specifically in the BFW business. More information on each company can be obtained from the Regulatory Body’s Website .

I. CERTIFICATION, PROCEDURES AND IMPORT DUTIES

There are no barriers for the entrance of telecommunications equipment. Import duties average 10% for telecommunications equipment. Import licenses are not required, but a commercial license is required for any company engaging in commercial or industrial activities in Panama. U.S. products and services are well accepted in the market and are regarded as being of excellent quality and price competitive. The issue of compatibility has been taken into account considering that European telecommunications standards are predominant in Panama.

RESPONSE INFORMATION

This response was prepared by the U.S. Department of Commerce/Commercial Service in Panama City, Panama, in June 2003. For further clarification please contact:

Enrique Tellez
Commercial Specialist
U.S. Commercial Service, Panama City
Enrique.Tellez@mail.doc.gov

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