Wednesday 29 March 2023

Costa Rica: Nice Landscape vs. Cellular Phone Coverage

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Costa Rica does not have many tall buildings, requiring the erection of cell phone towers to provide better mobile services
Costa Rica does not have many tall buildings, requiring the erection of cell phone towers to provide better mobile services

Q COSTA RICA NEWS – Five years after the mobile telecommunications market opened up in Costa Rica, three municipalities continue to prioritize landscape aesthetics versus the need to install structures to ensure cellular phone coverage.

Moravia and Curridabat (in the province of San Jose) and Esparza (in the province of Puntarenas) are in the midst of two court cases and the filing an appeal with the Supreme Court, summarize the legal objections raised because of the installation of towers for the provision of mobile phone services in Costa Rica.

According to an article by,  there is continued controversy still.

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The controversies, says the report, have to do with the maximum height of the structures, with the separation between them, with their location (residential, industrial, mixed, etc.) and the size of their surrounding premises.

The information states that without these 10 to 25 metre towers phone and mobile internet companies would not be able to create coverage networks, and that two previous rulings forced the municipalities of San Pedro Montes de Oca and Heredia to allow the towers.

The first of the Court rulings on the subject was in 2011,  the Courts declaring cell phone towers structures a public interest.

In their arguments, magistrates privileged the public interest over any other local or communal. If this were not the case, the population would might be limited access to new information and technologies, the Court ruled, with reiterated support by the Attorney General’s office in 2012.

For the telecommunications authority, the Sutel, these court cases are a waste of time and energy, because with the resolutions of the Supreme Court and the Attorney General, the matter should be resolved for the good of the users.

“There are still some degrees of resistance. It is not possible to understand it, that in some places for to have better services, the companies (telecoms) require the towers. In Costa Rica we do not have so many tall buildings. That’s why they (the towers) are needed,” said Wálther Herrera, director of Markets at Sutel.

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