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Thursday, December 13 2018 @ 08:28 PM UTC

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Hurricane "Alex" in Mexico Knocks Out Cell Phone Service in Panama

Internet & TechnologyTelefonica Movistar customers in Panama were held incommunicado from last Thursday night and part of yesterday. In a statement, the company explained that the problem was due to Hurricane 'Alex' in Mexico, which affected all regional platforms that allow mobile phone services in Panama, Mexico and Central America. (La Estrella)

Editor's Comment: A hurricane in Mexico knocks out my cell phone in Panama? What's wrong with this picture? Movistar's statement offered an explanation of why cell phone service was knocked out, but obviously it never should have been allowed to happen in the first place. Hopefully they will learn something from this and build their infrastructure to prevent it from happening again.

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Cell Phones Acting Up Today?

Internet & TechnologyBy DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - Received today via email: "Hi Don, Do you know anything about what's been happening with the Cell Phone service today? Cable & Wireless, Movistar, and Digicell all are having problems. When you dial a number, it immediately goes to "Call Failed"! Or you can call a certain person, but they can't call you. It's not that they are out of money on their phone, either. Yesterday, it was Cableonda with TV and internet service. Today it's the cell system. What's going on? Frank."

Seems Like It: I was having the same kinds of problems all day. Wish I could tell you what was causing the problems, but I really have no idea...

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"Cell Phone Number Portability" Implementation Delayed

Internet & Technology In Panama the government wants to implement "cell phone number portability" for users, but they have had problems trying to get the program started. They have already held two public bids, and both where declared "deserted" when nobody participated. Now, the public will have to wait until at least March 2011 before they will have "number portability" available as an option. The National Authority of Public Services (ASEP) announced through a press release "the process to choose the company that will provide the supply, installation, deployment, updating, maintenance and technical support and systems equipment was declared void because the participating companies did not meet the minimum requirements established in advance by the Assessment Committee." The note added that the bidding process "to engage the services of a company that will provide the ASEP, among other things, the technical scope, to rent a physical space for the installation of an existing data management, in addition to the links and technical details," was also declared void because "companies that participated in this event failed to submit important documents" that should be analyzed by the Evaluation Commission.

Now, Wait - These are the reasons why the public, especially the thousands of people who use cellular telephone services, will have to wait for the ASEP to call another bid for interested companies to participate in both processes. According to estimates by the ASEP, "cell phone number portability" will not be available before March 2011.

TECHNOLOGY - Once number portability is approved and implemented, the Republic of Panama will join countries such as the USA, Mexico and the Dominican Republic in the Americas, as well as several other countries in European and Asia that have access to this technology. (El Siglo)

Editor's Comment: This would be nice. I've had the same cell phone number for ten years, and it would be very nice to be able to switch to a new service provider (if I ever decide to to that) and to bring my existing number with me. Right now, it's not possible in Panama.

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National Police Unveil New Technology

Internet & Technology
Gustavo Pérez - Director of the National Police in Panama
Gustavo Pérez - Director of the National Police in Panama
The National Police will begin using a new system that will give them greater access to information when suspects are initially arrested. Gustavo Pérez, the Director of the National Police, explained that when making an arrest it will now be possible for police officers to immediately verify if the person is wanted by the criminal justice system, as well as to access details about the pending case. The device is similar to a cell phone that allows police officers to take a suspect's photo and to access all the information they need. It also works for traffic cops, allowing access to all data known about a car and driver. Perez said they have been using the new system for several weeks already, and they have been able to feel the results of the implementation of the new technology. (Source: Panama America)

Editor's Comment: Welcome to 1984. Well, I don't mean it that way. What I mean is that in the United States this kind of a system has been available since 1984. I'm glad to see they're catching up. More information is a good thing. Only the bad guys will have a reason to be nervous.

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Panama announces completion of first phase of free internet network

Internet & TechnologyThe Panamanian president, Ricardo Martinelli, has announced the launch of the country’s first free-of-charge internet access project Internet Para Todos, BNamericas reports. The government has revealed that on the completion of this first phase of work it has set up 328 access points in eleven cities across the country, offering average downlink speeds of 512kbps; the infrastructure has been deployed by Liberty Technologies, which has used a combination of Wi-Fi and WiMAX technologies. The access points will be located in public areas, including libraries, schools, museums and health centres. The state has also said that in the second phase of the scheme a further 300 access points will be added in another eleven cities. Commenting on the development Martinelli said: ‘Panama has become an example for many countries. The national internet network the government is promoting will benefit more than 2.3 million people when it is completed in April.’ (Source: www.telegeography.com)
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Chiriqui and Bocas Cut Off for Three Hours

Internet & TechnologyThe provinces of Chiriqui and Bocas del Toro were virtually cut off on Friday January 1. Damage to equipment related to power distribution systems that feed the trunk and transmission backbone to David caused outages from 7:10 pm until 10:20 p.m. Due to the outage there was no Internet service from any provider, and cellular telephone services from Cable & Wireless Panama was also off line. (La Prensa)
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Something's Wrong With Movistar Cell Phone Service

Internet & Technology By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - I don't know what's going on, but there seems to be some kind of a widespread problem with the Movistar cell phone network. I'm getting all kinds of weird responses from my cell phone, mostly related to network access errors, when I try to dial. However some calls are going through so it's not a 100% outage. In any case if you're having problems, you're not alone.

Copyright 2009 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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TV reception

Internet & TechnologyI need information on TV services in the city of Panama. While I am learning more Spanish I would like to watch TV in English. Who provides English Language programing? Can TV and Internet be bundled? Thanks for any information you can provide. Howard Price (Editor's Comment: Anyone want to answer his questions in the comments? Thanks)
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MagicJack - I'm A New Fan

Internet & Technology By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - I finally picked up a Magic Jack while I was was up in New York on this most recent trip. Now, my parents can just dial a local call and presto - we're connected. It looks like this is even going to be cheaper than Skype, which is still pretty damn cheap. Anyway, if you want to call me my new Magic Jack number is (845) 514-9893 based in Kingston New York out of respect for our family's forefathers who landed in that area in about 1654 or so. I looks like I'm going to become a new fan of Magic Jack. Add me to the list.

Copyright 2009 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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PaNETma for High Speed Internet Service in Panama

Internet & TechnologyBy DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - You might remember how earlier this year I finally got fed up with Cable Onda's absolutely unacceptable levels of customer service for Internet and basically threw them out on their ass. I switched to PaNETma and have been enjoying flawless high speed service ever since. I just recently spend abut a week and a half in New York. While I was there I got an email from the guys at PaNETma who were letting me know that apparently my service had gone down, and they wanted to see if there was anything they could do. I told them it would have to wait until I got back, and upon my return I quickly determined that my Internet connection was toast. While I was gone apparently a power surge or a lightening strike or something fried the antenna (my bad, no UPS or surge protection.) The guys from PaNETma came over as soon as I called them and I was up and running in minutes. Anyway, I'm still a highly satisfied PaNETma customer. Here's a few comments from others as well;
  • "It is very difficult to get a stable internet connection with any kind of speed in Panama. I have probably tried them all at one time or the other. Panetma is my current provider and am recommending them to everyone i see. Speed, reliability and gringo customer service. I will never forget Cableonda's response to me when i was complaining that i was receiving only half the speed i was paying for. My spanish stinks, so I had my secretary/interpreter take over the phone to see if i was hearing the response right. It translated just as I thought: "Senor, you get what you get!!"

  • "WOW for Panetma. If you need high speed (2mb and above) they have so far been head and shoulders above the others. Gringo-like customer service and the up time has been 100%. The speed consistently measures right on and sometimes above the mark. In fact, it has been nothing short of amazing. I am in Obarrio by the way." Mike B., Obarrio

  • "I have panetma hooked up right now. These guys showed up to hook me up the day I called, arriving an hour before they anticipated (they called to make certain it was ok). They were throrough and professional and have answered and worked with my difficult schedule since. The service works quite well, seems as fast as my business service in Cincinnati, Ohio. This enables me to run almost 70% of my stateside job duties from PC, so I am thrilled. I highly recommend Panetma." Stephen M., El Cangrejo

  • "Hi roman, first your internet service is great – thanks – so much so friends of ours from Ontario are wanting to move to panama, buy a place in cerro azul and hope that you provide service in that area as they know how much we enjoy it – do you offer service there? Can you? " Thomas D., Costa del Este

I'm Sold: As far as I'm concerned, for high speed Internet service in Panama, there's PaNETma, and then there's everyone else. Having a stable and high speed connection to the Internet is absolutely critical for me because my business depends on that connectivity. PaNETma works for me.

Copyright 2009 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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