The Panama estimated population in 2009 was approximately 3.6 million. Shortly, though a national census taken every ten years, Panama will nose count its citizens in an effort to determine how many Panamanians constitute its total population. The collected data then will be organized in several categories such as gender, age, social status, geographical concentration and so forth. The national census will take place on May 16, 2010 organized by the Census Bureau of the General Comptroller’s Office (Contraloría General de la República).
On the other hand, telecommunications pundits agree that there are 3.9 million cell phone subscribers in Panama. This means there are more active cell phones in Panama than people. This makes Panama, one of the hottest mobile phone markets in Latin America. The market penetration percentage in this small Central American country is staggering.
The telecommunications sector grew 15.8 percent during the last two years and has not stopped its pace. It is one of the most dynamic areas of the country that is kept in expansion due to the low price of the service, the competition and the massive use. For example, there are 53.6 cellular phones for every 100 Panamanians.
Panama is at the vanguard in Latin America in matters regarding telecommunications. The country is well equipped with an infrastructure made up of technical state of the art installations, being one of the first to introduce the G technology as well as launching the Blackberry and iPhone devices. These new advances create adequate conditions for the establishment of new multinational headquarters shopping around to invest in the sector.
Several factors contribute to the mobile phone’s high demand. The main factor is that Panamanians feel that owning a cellphone and using it in front of their friends or peers, give them some kind of special status or aura. A mobile phone in Panama is a symbol of prestige; so many cell phone users seek to buy one or more of these ubiquitous technological gadgets.
There are currently four main cell phone companies operating in Panama, (i.e., Movistar, Claro, Digicel and Cable & Wireless). The competition is “knife-in-mouth” type, since everyone wants a larger slice of the pie. The sooner, the better. Good Day.