The current trend in mobile communications to use devices connected to the internet full time is forcing carriers in Costa Rica to move forward to the newer technology known as ‘4G’. So far, ICE, operating under the Kolbi brand, is the only carrier to announce plans for a 4G network.
TDMA was the first cellular technology used in Costa Rica. It was replaced by GSM, a standard in the country for years and later by UMTS/HSPA (High Speed Packet Access), better known as 3G.
José Pablo Blotta, director of ICE Mobile Division, would not disclose when the 4G will be launched, only to say that the implementation of the technology is advancing rapidly. Blotta talks abouts bandwidth close to 100 Mbps.
Everything You need to know about 4G
What is 4G?
4G is a lightning-quick internet connection for mobile devices – the fourth generation of wireless mobile communications technology, set to usurp the current 3G network in use today.
How fast is it?
It is said to offer speeds of up to 20Mb per second, faster than many home broadband connections but way behind current home fibre optic offerings which provide speeds of up to 100Mbps.
4G means you will be able to download and stream music and videos easily while on the go – a standard definition movie will take just 10-15 minutes to download via 4G. The faster connection also means mobile gamers will be able to enjoy richly detailed and complex online multiplayer games.
Is the iPhone 4G 4G? Simple answer is no. Click here for more.
Who is offering it?
No one yet, but ICE could be the first before the end of 2013.
Will consumers have to pay more for 4G than 3G?
ICE will not talk about its 4G plans at all at the moment, but industry insiders think customers will have to pay more to enjoy the faster mobile connection speed.
Are they available in Costa Rica?
Yes. The iPhone 5 and the Samsung Galaxy SIII, Nokia Lumia 920, all available in Costa Rica, are examples of LTE cellular phones.
Will data be capped under a 4G plan?
This is the big question. There’s not much point taking out an expensive 4G plan that allows you to download and stream huge amounts of data if the provider then caps the amount of data you can stream/download.
Mobile phone networks tend to charge a premium for data compared with fixed-line broadband, coupling low download limits with hefty fees for breaching your data cap. Any 4G plans that are launched could potentially come with a more generous download limit than current 3G options, but an unlimited data allowance would be the preferred option allowing customers to make the most of a 4G service.”