Wednesday 20 January 2021

Costa Rica Will Not Add Fourth Mobile Operator

Court ruling sets precedent for cellular network operators to provide coverage
QCOSTARICA – The government has confirmed that it will not add a fourth player in the mobile telecommunications market, that the auction of the fourth (remaining) 70 MHz of spectrum in 2015 will be only among the three current telecommunications operators; Kolbi (ICE), Clario (America Movil) and Movistar (Telefonica).

When Costa Rica opened its telecommunications sector several years back it made available four spectrums, hoping to attract a player for each. But only two others (Claro and Movistar) in addition to the state telecom (ICE) mad bids, leaving the fourth spectrum without an owner and unused.

Now, the Ministry of Science, Technology and Telecommunications (MICITT) – the state agency that controls (not regulates) the use of radio frequencies, announced that the auction of radio spectrum of 70MHz will be in early 2015, with the goal of strengthen the current market, but without the involvement of a fourth operator, as was originally considered.

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Allan Ruiz, vice minister of telecommunications, told that “… we expect to have the instructions from the Superintendencia de Telecommunicaions (SUTEL) – Superintendency of Telecommunications, the regulator of telco’s, in the first quarter of 2015, while the technical and economic studies and the legal and public policies are finished which will complement the report received by the Superintendent on the subject; these are studies which are focused on consolidating the market and quality for end users by expanding the market to new entrants. ”

He added that “… According to the analysis and projections by the Micitt and Sutel-based on the recommendations of the International Union of Telecommunications- Costa Rica requires 110 MHz in 2015. The auction of 70 MHz will partly solve these requirements. The balance, in my view, will be achieved by having all operators possessing a similar amount of spectrum in more or less all of the available bands. ”


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