San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Public Phones To Be Upgraded

Traditional pay phones around Costa Rica are being replaced with new, high-tech phones that accept coins, regular and “chip” calling cards and can send e-mails and text messages to cell phone users, according to a statement from the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE), the state-run telecommunications and electricity monopoly.

Callers will be able to buy rechargeable chip cards that can be inserted into these public phones to make calls, said ICE spokeswoman Vanessa Vallavares.

ICE plans to install 8,000 of these “multi-pay” phones around the country, 2,000 of which will also have the capacity to send e-mails and text messages to cell phones, the statement said. The institute began installing these phones in Tres Rios, east of San José.

Traditional pay phones must be removed to be replaced by these new phones, so some communities may experience a temporary lack of public phones, the statement said.


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