San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Spain’s Movistar begins service in Costa Rica on Tuesday

Spanish cellular service provider Telefónica will begin offering coverage in Costa Rica on Tuesday, the Madrid-based company announced in a press release Monday. Telefónica, under the Movistar label, will compete with former monopoly the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE), new entrant Claro and local startup Fullmóvil. Claro, of Mexico-based company América Móvil, launched in Costa Rica on Saturday.

Movistar service, plans and phones can be purchased at 150 national locations, and pre-paid customers can recharge their subscriptions at more than 50,000 spots nationwide. The location of Movistar stores can be found at  

According to the press release, BlackBerry phones and iPhones are available, as well as data cards that can be plugged into a computer’s USB port to provide Internet access. Purchase of pre-paid SIM card plans begin at ₡2,500 ($5) and include 1,000 free text messages.

Five types of post-paid plans will be offered from ₡3,250 ($6.50) to ₡34,000 ($68). Each plan offers a fixed amount of minutes, text messages and Internet access.

“Our clients will have multiple possibilities to design the plan that best fits their needs and will have a variety of options for voice and information access in both pre-paid and post-paid plans,” said Jorge Abadía, director of Movistar Costa Rica. “The options we offer through our BlackBerry plans are the broadest and most innovative in the Costa Rican market.”

Movistar plans to expand coverage throughout the country in three phases during the next five years.

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