San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Cell Phone Earnings Increase 142%

Profits from cellular phones in Costa Rica reached $146 million in 2005, marking a 142% increase over 2004, reported the weekly El Financiero.

Data from the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE), the state-owned telecommunications monopoly, indicated that in 2005, earnings from cell phones reached $268.8 million, while operating costs were $122.8 million. Of the 4.2 million people living in Costa Rica, approximately 1.2 million have cell phones.

The cell phone sector is one of those most open to competition in the telecommunications industry if Costa Rica ratifies the Central American Free-Trade Agreement with the United States (CAFTA).

Under CAFTA, lucrative ICE-controlled markets would be open to competition, including the cell phone and Internet markets.

Costa Rica is the only signatory country that has not ratified CAFTA.


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