Panama puts analog blackout’s first step off without defining a new date for the implementation

Panamanian Autoridad de los Servicios Publicos (ASEP), entity that regulates the telecommunications market in the country, has officially published the Resolution AN N° 16,784 RTV on May 26th, through which it reported its decision to put analog blackout’s first step off in the country, which should have taken place last June 1st in the provinces of Panama, Panama Oeste and Colon.

According to the information reported by ASEP, the DTT migration process in the already mentioned provinces will be postponed ‘until the requirements established by the regulations are met or, on the other hand, they are modified and new parameters are established, specifically related to the percentage that must be reached with homes that have devices to receive digital TV channels’.

In terms of the reasons why ASEP decided to put the analog blackout off, the entity reported on the resolution it published in late May  that the results of the DTT STBs penetration measurements in homes made by the company IPSOS, showed that, of the samples obtained, 41% of households that have a FTA TV offer available in Panama have at least one DTT STB. However, with these results, the necessary percentage (90%) of households with DTT STBs established by Resolution AN N° 3988-RTV (2010) that must be obtained to start the analog blackout is not reached.

In February 2020, ASEP published a resolution, through which it established October 1st, 2020 as the date to start the first step of the analog blackout in Panama, Panama Oeste and Colon, using the DVB-T standard. Later, the entity published a new resolution on September 30th, 2020, by which it decided to postpone the date to June 1st, 2021, “due to the difficulties of restriction of mobility and quarantine decreed by the health authorities due to Covid -19, which have delayed the evaluations to verify that households have devices to receive the digital TV channels established in the regulations’.

Panamanian DTT transition plan involves four steps. Apart from the already mentioned phase 1 (provinces of Panama, Panama Oeste and Colon), the analog blackout will be implemented in phase 2 (Cocle, Herrera, Los Santos and Veraguas); phase 3 (Chiriqui and Bocas del Toro), and phase 4 (Darien). 

Dataxis llevará adelante los días martes 29 y miércoles 30 de junio la primera edición de Nextv Series Central America, la cual convocará en un formato virtual amigable a los principales operadores de TV paga, canales de TV, emisoras de TV abierta, plataformas OTT, dueños de contenido, telcos e ISPs de Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua y Panamá. La registración para el evento ya está abierta, y puede realizarse aquí. 

Dataxis will hold the first Nextv Series Central America’s edition on Tuesday, June 29th and Wednesday, June 30th. Its inaugural edition  will bring together in a friendly virtual format the leading pay TV operators, TV networks, FTA broadcasters, OTT platforms, content owners, telcos and ISPs from Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama. Registration for the event is now open, and can be done here.