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Korean company could offer free national Wi-Fi network in Costa Rica

December 5, 2014

Ticos may be able to forget about asking for Wi-Fi passwords for their smartphones and tablets if a new public infrastructure project gets off the ground.

Casa Presidencial and the Foreign Trade Ministry announced Thursday that the government is in discussions with the South Korean company Wells Communications, Inc. to develop a national LED public lighting system that would also provide free wireless Internet and closed-circuit video surveillance, according to a statement. The proposed Wi-Fi network would broadcast up to 500 meters from each light post.

Wells Communications CEO Dae Woo Kim met with officials in Presidency Minister Melvin Jiménez’s offices. Kim also floated the possibility of opening a light–emitting diodes manufacturing facility in Costa Rica. Jiménez’s office said that Foreign Trade Minister Alexander Mora would coordinate a working group to continue discussions with the Korean firm.

The project “is very attractive and interesting because it coincides with the interests of the government to improve energy efficiency and competitiveness,” Mora said in a statement, adding that the project would be “environmentally friendly.”

With Intel’s exit from microprocessor manufacturing in Costa Rica, the Foreign Trade Ministry is on the hunt for more hi-tech industries to maintain the country’s profile with foreign investors. President Luis Guillermo Solís leaves for Mexico City Saturday in his latest foreign-investment trip.

South Korea is the world’s most “connected” society when it comes to Internet access, speed and affordability, consistently ranking at the top of the United Nations ICT Development Index.

 

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