Nearshore Americas

By Acquiring Costa Rica Wireless Licenses, Telefonica and America Movil Break Monopoly

Costa Rica has seriously lagged the rest of Latin America in liberalizing its ICT market. In fact, in a recent Nearshore Americas interview with President Laura Chinchilla, the president pointed out that Costa Rica must continue to strengthen its capacity to compete on the  world stage and a key part of that growth depends on a more open telecom market.

After years of lobbying and political maneuvering, SUTEL – the country’s dominate ICT player – is finally going to be forced to compete against at least two foreign mobile entrants: Telefonica and America Movil. A recent post from Telegeography offers more details on the recent bids for licenses.

Telegeography reports: Costa Rica’s telecoms regulator Sutel has awarded wireless licences to Spain’s Telefonica and Mexico’s America Movil, ending Grupo ICE’s monopoly of the sector. Telefonica put its highest bid at USD95 million, ahead of America Movil’s USD77 million, for the best of three licences open for bidding, said Sutel. Sutel recommended that the Mexican firm win a separate licence for USD75 million. The third concession remains available and could be offered in a new auction, according to Sutel president George Miley. The awards, if approved by President Laura Chinchilla, could be granted in two weeks, with the new networks launching in September, he said.

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Kirk Laughlin

Kirk Laughlin is an award-winning editor and subject expert in information technology and offshore BPO/ contact center strategies.

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