Last year Panama auctioned rights to allow two new cellular providers enter the market. Now in Boquete Panama we have a third option, Digicel Panama. Digicel has invested a significant amount of capital building an infrastructure to serve the region and now they have entered the fray for cellular providers.
All of Panama has less than four million people but careful observation has convinced me there must be four million cell phones here.
In Panama as in many third world counties the POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) infrastructure is not everyplace. The cell phone has leap frogged and in many cases eliminated the need for wired phones. Many people have more than one cell phone, one for business and one for personal use. I have seen a few friends with three phones, a third for a second carrier in case their primary carrier has a poor signal in a location.
Digicel has a very extensive coverage and has entered with a different and aggressive marketing plan. They sell prepaid access at $0.12 a minute to other Digicel phones, $0.15 a minute to all other carriers. That is high compared to the competition who often has minutes down to about $.08. Digicel however charges by the second, so a 6 second hello call is billed at $0.015 not $0.15. Also until February you get a SIM free with a $5 prepaid card and if you speak for 2 minutes you get the next 30 minutes free; not a bad promotion.
Their Boquete store is one the street near the Bistro Boquete across fro Telcel and Airbox Express.
Thomas and the rest of the staff are bilingual so whether you speak English of Spanish they can help you into a new phone or just a chip if your phone will work on their bandwidth.