ISPS

Panama 2018 | TELECOMS & IT | B2B

Panama requires strong and reliable telecommunications infrastructure able to satisfy the needs of international corporations, and in-country ISPs are up to the task.

Darko Moskovitz
DARKO MOSKOVITZ
President
InterFastPanama
MOISÉS N. ABADI
General Manager
Liberty Technologies
Moisés N. Abadi
MOISÉS N. ABADI
General Manager
Liberty Technologies

What were the company's accomplishments in the last few years?

DARKO MOSKOVITZ While we were established more than two years ago, we focused the first 1.5 years on our network design and infrastructure deployment. We are proud to have successfully installed G-PON equipment. During the first years, to ensure we deliver an optimum service, we managed to deploy our own 100% fiber-optic infrastructure. With our amazing project teams, we were able to wire around 33% of the buildings where our main competitors have a presence in the heart of Panama City's main banking and residential areas. We are proud of what we have been able to accomplish in such a short amount of time, and we credit this to our amazing team of around 50 employees. We are pioneers in the deployment of 100% fiber optics to homes and businesses, as well as to banks, hotels, and shopping centers, with a bandwidth capability of up to 5,000Mbps. Currently, we are in the process of preparing to launch additional data centers and phone services to complement our main product, internet.

MOISES N. ABADI 2017 was a great year, and we expect 2018 to be even better. We are an internet service provider (ISP); we do all kinds of service opportunities that entail internet and data activity. That said, we offer a hotspot Wi-Fi service called Wigo that has been extremely successful in Panama, with 3 million devices registered to the network, which is almost half the number of devices in Panama. We are also in more than 700 venues. In 2018, we went to Guayaquil and built 120 bus stops with Wi-Fi as part as an agreement with JCDecaux, expanding on the successful deployment of 100 bus stops in Panama City. 2018 has been a great growth year for that project. At the same time, we have been aggressive in bringing high-level internet to buildings. In 2017, we serviced about 40 buildings, and now we have about 75 residential buildings all with fiber to the home. The idea is to go directly to each house with fiber and provide high-speed bandwidth.

How is your portfolio divided, and what is your strategy to increase it further?

DM Approximately 97.5% of the market is shared between two major competitors, and we plan to capture 5% of the business over the next three years. The average residential internet speed offered before we entered the market stood at less than 100Mbps with a HFC or DSL network. Once InterFastPanama S.A. began operations, we saw an attempt by the main competitors to improve their packages. However, even now we see their offers are asymmetric internet speeds of between 100Mbps and 500Mbps. InterFastPanama on the other hand, can offer symmetric internet speeds of up to 1,000Mbps. Our strategy is to continue to raise the bar, offering high-speeds, until all of Panama is fiber ready.

MNA Our corporate and residential client segments are basically 50-50. The corporate side of our portfolio is more high profile and takes significantly more planning, going into the infrastructure side of things. We also have other business lines based on WiMAX. There is still a market there, although it has become a simple internet connection that is fast and prepaid. The idea of the product may not be a high-value solution; however, it is great enough for people coming here and staying a short time on business. It is an interesting solution that still runs well. We have a large footprint in the 3.5GHz spectrum for use in this and other technologies coming into the global communications market.

What is your main goal?

DM In the modern world it is impossible to conduct business without the ability to transmit data. InterFast, as a company that is focused on developing fiber networks, has a bright future in the telecommunication industry. Our vision is to reach the whole country and provide internet, telephone, and video services through our fiber network to each corner of Panama, reduce infrastructure costs, and maximize customers' experience.

MNA We definitely want to grow. We are testing a number of new products and want to make sure they are successful. We want to make sure growth is sustainable as well. We already know which products we are testing, so that is a positive first step. The real challenge is learning and experimenting with how fast we can grow in a way that is sustainable.