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Pa

Basics Edit

Panama has 4 network GSM operators:

  • +móvil (by Cable & Wireless)
  • Claro
  • Digicel
  • Movistar

All have 2G/GSM and 3G up to HSPA+ on 850 and 1900 MHz. 4G/LTE has started in 2015 on +móvil and Movistar and Claro on 700 MHz (FDD Band 28) and is available in major towns.

There are continual debates over which company provides the best service or coverage. Some areas of the country are so remote, that there is no coverage offered by any company. But in other areas, some work and others don't. Therefore, if you are planning on doing extensive travel to remote areas or live in the countryside, it's recommended that you first talk to some locals and ask which one works best.

Even without MVNOs, the market is highly competitive. On arrival at the international airport of Panama, they try to sell you overpriced SIM cards through self-service machines. Better wait until you are in town. A SIM card costs hardly more than $1 for start-up. (A little note for Claro, you should buy them directly from their stores and costs a bit more than B/. 2)

All prices below are subject to 7% sales tax. Local currency is Balboa (PAB) that is linked 1:1 to the US$.

+móvil (= más móvil, by Cable & Wireless Panama) Edit

+móvil

Cable & Wireless Panama, a subsidary of Cable & Wireless, now owned by Liberty Media, is a provider of mobile, fixed line, broadband and pay TV services in the country. +movil (spoken: más móvil) is their cellular branch and product.

+movil offers 4G/LTE on their prepaid plans on 700 MHz (band 28): 4G coverage map.

Availability Edit

Their starter pack is called "kit +móvil" and sold in their stores and lot of other outlets for a minimal price. Top-up cards of $2-15 are available or top-up online.

Data feature packs Edit

Their standard tariff is called Tarifa ùnica. It has data at $ 0.06 per MB. So better buy packages. These packages for data are available:

Time Data Price Activation
1 day 150 MB B/. 0.99 *456#
2 days 400 MB B/. 1.99 *456#
3 days 650 MB B./ 2.99 *456#
7 days 800 MB B/. 5 *456#
15 days 1.5 GB B/. 10 *456#
30 days 2 GB B/. 15 *456#

Max. speed is 20 Mbps, if used beyond the quota, it would be B/. 0.001 per kb

More info Edit

ClaroEdit

Claro

Claro by América Móvil is another competitor in the country.

Claro has started 4G/LTE on prepaid operating on 700 MHz (band 28). In the beginning, it's was limited to certain parts of the capital city; Chiriqui and Colon only, but now it has been expanded to major regions: 4G coverage map.

Availability Edit

SIM Card is available in their stores and outlets: Store locator. Recharges are available for $1-70 giving 2-120 days of credit.

Data feature packsEdit

Default rate is $ 0.025 per MB. These data packs are offered and have 4G/LTE included where available:

Time Data Price Activation
1 day 200 MB $ 0.99 1
2 days 500 MB $ 1.99 2
7 days 800 MB $ 4.99 7
15 days 1 GB $ 8.99 15
30 days 2 GB $ 14.99 30

To activate text code to 464. All overuse is charged at $ 0.15 per MB.

More infoEdit

DigicelEdit

Digicel

Jamaica-based Digicel is another provider in Panama. Though they advertise with "4G", it's in real only 3G/HSPA+: Digicel coverage map

Availability Edit

Their SIM Card is available in stores and outlets: Store locator- Recharges are valid for 365 days sold in their stores and outlets or online on the interatl. Digicel top-up site.

Data feature packsEdit

Their packages for "4G" data:

Time Data Price
1 day 225 MB $ 0.99
2 days 400 MB $ 1.99
3 days 600 MB $ 2.99
7 days 1 GB $ 4.99
15 days 1.5 GB $ 8.99
30 days 3 GB $ 14.99

To activate type *111# <call>. Overuse is charged with $ 0.01 per KB. The 1 and 2 day plan includes 150 MB of WhatsApp (no VoIP), the plans of 3 days and more 10 GB of WhatsApp (no VoIP), Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest, Waze, Badoo y Wechat (only chats).

More infoEdit

MovistarEdit

Movistar

Movistar by Spanish Telefónica is the last provider of the quartet: 2G, 3G and 4G coverage map. Movistar Panamá offers LTE on their prepaid offerings. You first need an 4G/LTE SIM (available free of charge from any of their outlets), before you can utilize their LTE, which is available on the 700 Mhz frequency.

Availability Edit

SIM card is available in their stores Store locator. Recharge cards are available in $2, $3, $5, $10 or $15. For every top-up, you'll get some bonus minutes and their are many x2, x3, or x5 promotions.

Data feature packsEdit

Validity 2G/3G Data 4G Data Price
2 days 250 MB B/. 2
4 days 350 MB 175 MB B/. 3
7 days 750 MB 1.5 GB B/. 5
15 days 1 GB 2 GB B/. 10

To activate type *888#, choose option 2 and pick a package. You can buy any package anytime. Packages include small allowances of local calls and SMS too. Packages of 4 days and longer include free WhatsApp use during the running time of the pack.

American roaming option Edit

Movistar offer new roaming options called Movistar sin fronteras which can be activated through here:

  • in the Movistar networks in Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and Costa Rica you can roam at the domestic rate without surcharges for up to 30 days
  • in Canada, USA (on AT&T and T-Mobile), Colombia, Honduras, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Dominican Republic and South America you can add a roaming package for B./ 5 per day.

More infoEdit

  • APN: internet.movistar.pa
  • Username and Password: movistarpa
  • tethering is supported
  • Website in Spanish: http://www.movistar.com.pa

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