San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

ICE to offer iPhone 4 in Costa Rica

The Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) has announced that it will soon offer the Apple iPhone 4 to its customers. According to a company press release, ICE and Apple came to an agreement late last week that will allow the iPhone 4 to be sold nationally in “the next few days.”

“We have arrived to an agreement with the Apple company and we are performing the final tests to assure that the phone is compatible with our platforms,” said Jamie Palermo, the manager of customer relations at ICE. “Soon Costa Ricans will be able to enjoy all the benefits of this new technology.”

According to ICE, the iPhone 4 will provide access to social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, email, instant messaging, a camera with 5 megapixels, video recording capability in high definition, and audio and video play applications. Currently, all national iPhones must be purchased and programmed outside of Costa Rica before they can be used here.

“Now people don’t have to make a trip abroad to bring the telephone here because ICE has made it possible to use here,” Palermo said.

ICE said that the iPhone 4 models will be sold by Kölbi, ICE’s cell phone service provider. The iPhone 4 is yet to be priced in Costa Rica.

The announcement that the iPhone 4 model will be sold by ICE is the company’s latest move in preparation for the opening of the cellular telephone market, which will add providers América Móvil and Telefónica in September or October. The two regional giants, who were allowed entrance to compete in Costa Rica due to the passing of the Central America Free-Trade Agreement with the U.S. (CAFTA) on Jan.1, 2009, also allow iPhones to be used with their service plans.  

Mexico based América Móvil, which will be known as Claro in Costa Rica, is Latin America’s biggest cellular and fixed line provider with over 276 million customers in 18 countries. Spain’s Telefónica, which will operate under the name Azules y Platas in Costa Rica, has 184 million subscribers in Latin America. In January, Telefónica committed to invest $95 million in infrastructure and development in the Costa Rican market, outbidding América Móvil’s $77 million of promised investment.

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