The Arenal Area Magazine

Giants Ready To Compete In Costa Rica's Cellular Market


The day when in Costa Rica consumers can choose their cellular telephone carrier is coming closer and the big players are getting ready to compete against the state owned telecom that has been a monopoly in Costa Rica for six decades and currently the sole operator, the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE).

According to the Superintendencia de Telecomunicaciones (Sutel) the choice of three new operators will be made within the coming six months and the winners have to be ready to start their operations.

Although a decision last week by Costa Rica’s Constitutional Court (Sala Constitucional) orders the Sutel to make the decision final within three months.

If the Sutel keeps to its schedule and there are no more delays, by the first quarter or half of 2011, consumers will be able to choose their operator and the plan that suits best their telecommunications needs.

In the play for one of three licenses are Millicom that operates under the brand name, Tigo; America Movil with its Claro brand; Telefonica operating under Movistar; Panama’s Cable & Wirelss; and the Caribbean company, Digicel.

All the companies have extensive operations in Latin America and have been eyeing Costa Rica’s market for the last two to three years.

Each operator brings a wealth of experience and services to the Costa Rica’s market not offered by ICE.

The Sutel is expected to publish the bidding cartel within the coming weeks.

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