With only days to “cellular number portability”, the first operator to come swinging hard is the state telecom, the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad or ICE as he have come to love/hate.
Working under the “Kölbi” brand, ICE today came out with 3 and 4 full page ads in all the local print media. In contrast, not one ad from Movistar, Claro, Full Movil and Tuyo.
Number portability is a big thing in Costa Rica. It is the first time cell phone customers can choose to switch operator and keep the same number.
The biggest loser in this change is expected to be ICE. And to prevent that from happening after Saturday, ICE is going to try to convince customers to stay, while Movistar and Claro will surely do their best to woo customers from ICE.
For example, ICE today announced a 10% reduction on monthly billing for the first three months with a sign up of a “post paid” (subcription) service. Another ad promotes nine popular cellular phones, some free with plans. Yet another ad offers Kolbi’s “super chip” with bonus minutes and fast internet connection.
Using the slogan, “now that you have the freedomg to choose, choosse the best”, a full page ad appeals to customers on the quality of ICE’s service.
It will be interesting to see the what Movistar, Claro, Full Movil and Tuyo have planned for us.
They are in a position to gain a good chunk of ICE’s almost 1.5 million cellular phone customers, the majority stuck with ICE for years or lose their phone number, like me who has had the same number for more than a decade.
Cellular phone number portability starts on November 30, when the Spanish company El Corte Inglés takes over the management of cellular numbers in Costa Rica. The El Corte Inglés will take over the role of registrar, where customers can apply for a change of operator while maintaining their number.
There is a limit of 5 moves per calendar year and customers have to be up-to-date (not have any outstanding bills with their current operator) before the move is approved.