• Costa Rica Coffee Guide

Mobile Phone Regulator to Select Three New Competitors by January

November 1, 2010

Although delays in opening the Costa Rican mobile phone market may seem never-ending, the Telecommunications Superintendency (SUTEL) reports that three telecom providers should be selected by mid-January to compete to provide cell phone service in Costa Rica. Currently, five cell phone providers – Digicel, Millicom, Telefónica, Cable & Wireless and América Móvil – have purchased the 200-page document prepared by SUTEL that outlines the guidelines and requirements for market entry.

The Costa Rican mobile phone market was opened for competition with the entry into force of the Central American Free-Trade Agreement with the U.S. on Jan. 1, 2009. However, SUTEL has repeatedly delayed the market’s opening as confusion over frequencies, inadequate cell phone towers and complaints of inadequate guidelines for the bidding process have bogged down progress.

In June, Carlos Gallegos, telecommunications director for the international consulting firm Deloitte, said that the closed Costa Rican cellular market was “the biggest economic obstacle” facing the country. According to some analysts, the opening of the market could create around 3,000 jobs and generate $3 billion for the Costa Rican economy in five years.

On Aug. 30, SUTEL released a 200-page document spelling out the guidelines for companies interested in participating in Costa Rica’s mobile phone market. The companies were given 90 days to submit a bid. However, several companies complained that the guideline were inadequate, forcing SUTEL to make revisions and grant an extension for submitting applications (TT Oct. 5). The new deadline is Dec. 14.

To date, 35 companies, law firms and individuals have purchased the guidelines, although only five are telecom service providers. Carolina Mora, the spokesperson for SUTEL, told The Tico Times that the company will submit the applications of three companies to the Executive Branch for review by mid-January 2011.

You may be interested

Former Latin American leaders condemn ‘breakdown in the rule of law’ in El Salvador
El Salvador
5 views
El Salvador
5 views

Former Latin American leaders condemn ‘breakdown in the rule of law’ in El Salvador

The Tico Times - May 6, 2021

Some 20 former presidents of Spain and Latin America, including Felipe Calderón and Vicente Fox from Mexico, and Álvaro Uribe…

Quepos airport renovations (finally) underway
Costa Rica
8 views
Costa Rica
8 views

Quepos airport renovations (finally) underway

Alejandro Zúñiga - May 6, 2021

Renovation and expansion of the runway at La Managua Airport in Quepos began Wednesday and will completed before September. "The…

PAHO says region’s hospitals are ‘dangerously full’
Latin America
8 views
Latin America
8 views

PAHO says region’s hospitals are ‘dangerously full’

Ariela NAVARRO / AFP - May 6, 2021

PAHO, the Americas office of the World Health Organization (WHO), warned on Wednesday that hospitals in the region are "dangerously…