Wednesday 31 May 2023

Costa Rica Looking For A Fourth Cellular Operator

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Currently there are three cellular phone operators in the country: Kolbi (ICE), Claro (America Movil) and Movistar (Spain's Telefonica)
Currently there are three cellular phone operators in the country: Kolbi (state company ICE), Claro (Mexico’s America Movil) and Movistar (Spain’s Telefonica)

(QCostarica) Costa Rica’s Superintendencia de Telecomunicaciones (Sutel) – Superintendency of Telecommunications – has published the bidding conditions for the forthcoming auction of 70MHz of frequencies – 40 MHz in the 1800 MHz band and 30 MHz in the 1900/2100 MHz bands – yet to be allocated following the country’s 2011 tender.

The process also opens the possibility for new operators to enter the domestic market, competing with the state telecom ICE (Kolbi brand), Claro and Movistar.

On Friday, the Sutel published in La Gaceta (the official government newsletter) the rules for participation in the auction, to be held in the first semester of 2017.

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According to Sutel, Friday the pre-bidding rules, which establishes the rules for participation in the auction, to be held during the first half of 2017 was published in the Official Gazette.

The Sutel is looking for operators with experience. In the bidding that saw the arrival of Mexico’s America Movil (Claro) and Spain’s Telefonica (Movistar), bidders had to demonstrate that they had at least 1.8 million mobile subscribers in countries where they provided services, also demonstrate the had revenue of about US$450 million annually in mobile services and submit a minimum bid of US$70 million.

In that bid, America Movil and Telefonica paid a combined US$170 million dollars for the right to operate in Costa Rica, the funds going to the Fondo Nacional de Telecomunicaciones (Fonatel)  – National Telecommunications Fund –  to provide telecommunication services in remote communities, and low-income schools.

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