Getting Connected to Landlines in Panama

Find out how to get your new home connected to the landline telephone service in Panama...

There are several phone service providers available in Panama. Companies usually offer a package that includes cable and the Internet, but it is also possible to get a simple telephone contract. Services include: call waiting, voicemail, conference calling and call forwarding.

To get telephone service in Panama a permanent address is necessary. All service providers have stores in malls and shopping centers.

Panama's major telephone service providers are:

Cable & Wireless Panamá is the main telephone service provider in Panama, Cable Onda and ClaroCOM are also large providers.

These companies presently cover different areas of Panama. However, networks are currently expanding as new towers are installed around the country.

Getting connected to a landline service

To subscribe to a telephone company, provide a housing contract to prove residency, as well as a passport (or a photocopy). An appointment is then made for an employee to install a landline, which usually takes less than a week.

Rates

Local calls cost ten cents for the first three minutes and then five cents a minute. Calling mobile phones costs about 35 cents per minute, but may vary depending on special offers.

An operator-assisted call costs double a direct call. To make a collect or credit card call to the US, dial one of the following access numbers (public telephones require a deposit):

  • AT&T: 00-800-001-0109
  • MCI: 108
  • Sprint: 115

Public Telephones

Public coin and card-operated telephones are accessible and easy to use. Coin-operated telephones accept five, ten and 25 centavos (cent coins).

Phone cards can be used for both local and long-distance calls and can be bought in pre-paid disposable and pre-paid rechargeable forms.

Cards can be bought from a local telephone service provider or from third-party telecommunications suppliers. If a card is bought from a third-party telecommunications supplier like a store or vending machine, an access telephone number must be called and an authorization code entered before placing a call.

Phone cards bought from the local telephone service provider are used like cash and sold in incremental values, and can be used for both local and long-distance calls. To place a call, simply lift the receiver, insert the card, and dial the number. Use the card until all the minutes are gone.

Rechargeable cards can have credit added at any time over the telephone or Internet.

Fax Machines

Fax machines are available in many places, for example in hotels, and service is reliable.