San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

ICE still dominating Costa Rican phone market

The Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE), the state-run telecommunications company, continues to dominate the local cellphone market despite the country opening up that market to competition last year.

George Milley, vice president of the Telecommunications Superintendency, said in an interview Monday with Signals Telecom News that ICE maintains control of 80 percent of the cellphone market. The competition, Spain’s Movistar and Mexico’s Claro, keep growing and achieve a combined 100,000 lines per month. But as of now, the telecom brands each own a 10 percent market share in Costa Rica.

Movistar and Claro agreed last year to pay $77 million and $95 million, respectively, to operate cellphone frequencies during the next 15 years in Costa Rica’s newly opened telecom market.

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