Most of the devices come from the United States.
"Cellmania" has taken over almost all of the Panamanian market.
Everyone has a cell phone, from street vendors to top executives. But these devices are more than a fad. They are necessary tools of the trade for most people.
The two companies that operate the service in Panama say they have more than three million active lines, almost one for every citizen of the country.
Panama imported $190 million worth of mobile phones in 2008, at a time when Claro was not operating in the country and Digicel was just starting.
This industry is growing at rapid pace, fueled by the fast advances in technology, as new features are being added almost constantly: longer lasting batteries, internet navigation, video calls, GPS, etc.
The telecommunications transnational is interested in operating in Costa Rica and it could invest $400 million in infrastructure.
According to Pa-digital.com.pa, Jorge Nicolau, president and manager of Cable & Wireless Panama, indicated that "the guarantee, the efficiency, and the experience of its platform in Panama and in other countries place them as one of the main candidates to reach the more than 4.5 million Costa Ricans."
Cell-phone companies have 6.6 million wireless phone numbers allocated, but only 3 million are active.
Through March 2009, Cable & Wireless (C&W) and Telefónica Móviles (Movistar) have 2.7 million lines each, Digicel has 900 thousand and Claro Panama, which has just begun operations, has 300 thousand, according to data from the National Authority for Public Services published by Prensa.com.
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