Only 5% of adults living in Costa Rica do not currentty have a cellular phone. This according to a poll by Demoscopia commissioned by the Viceministerio de Telecomunicaciones last August.

Nokia is the preferred brand of celluar phone in Costa Rica.

The study shows that 98% use mobile communication (could be borrowing one) and some 5% have two cellular lines or more.

While  the provinces of San José, Alajuela, Heredia and Limón maintain avergaves in excess of 93%, in Puntarenas the average is 87%, while in Guanacaste 87.9$, according to results published by Demoscopia.

The objective of the poll was to analyze the market condition following the opening of the cellular market last December.

The results indicate an increase of mobile use, with cellular phone use increasing from 82% to 95%, while mobile internet went from 33% to 50%.

Showing a decrease was the use of “prepaid” services, dropping to 59% from 72% a few months ago. In contrast, “postpaid” or subscription services – customers signing up for a monthly billing – increased from 27.5% to 41%.

The study also revealed that 34% or 1/3 of all users still continue with GSM cell phones – the older technology. Part of the reason is the price and part that many are still using their original cell phones, being a GSM.

Noted was that 29% of all users had a smartphones – phones that can run apps and are interent capable as to conventional phones that are mainly used for making and receiving calls with limited internet.

An interesting fact revealed by the poll was that less are inclined to switch operators as compared to the end of last year with the introduction of Claro and Movistar to the market.

Number portability, or the lack of, is a factor in switching. The majority of Kolbi (ICE) users have numbers dating back to years, some over a decade, and are unwilling to give up their number if they switch to another operator. The number portability is an issue being discussed at Telecommunicaciones and may be a reality in the coming year, that may prompt a change in attitude.

For now, only 5% responded that are considering a change of operator, as compared to 20% last December.

The poll also asked their cellular phone of preference. Nokia, the a Finnish multinational and the world’s leading mobile phone supplier, was the cell phone of preference in Costa Rica with 56% of respondents using one, while runners up were Samsung at 12% and Sony Mobile at 11%.

The Apple iPhone and Motorla phones hold each a 4% position, the others almost 10%.