QCOSTARICA – Costa Rica is the country with the highest number of active cell lines per inhabitant in the world according to the most recent data from the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and presented by the Superintendency of Telecommunications (Sutel) in its State of the Telecommunications 2019.
With 169% of active postpaid and prepaid mobile services it even exceeds world potentials such as Singapore, Finland, and Switzerland, 146%, 132%, and 130%, respectively.
In Latin America, the cellular penetration of Uruguay and El Salvador follows Costa Rica with 150% and 147%, respectively, also surpassing Asian and European countries.
In general terms, the national mobile phone market experienced a slight increase during 2019, with a total of 8.5 million active lines, which represents a growth of 0.6% compared to 2018.
Postpaid increased with an annual average of 11.1% since 2015, while the prepaid does so at a rate of 0.8%
At the end of 2019, users with a monthly plan represented 28% of subscriptions, while prepaid was almost 78%, (that is, there are 2.5 prepaid lines for each postpaid line).
The market is led by Kölbi, the brand of the state telecom, the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE) which holds 51.2% of the total active subscribers, followed by Movistar with 29.9% and Claro with 18.9%.
Despite this, Movistar was the only mobile operator that grew in Costa Rica last year in terms of the number of subscribers and market share, taking customers above all the Kölbi and a little from Claro Costa Rica.