Fourth generation (4G) mobile phone technology service will be available for Ticos before Christmas via the state-run Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE), according to a press release sent out by the agency. And in early 2014, private carriers say they will start offering the technology.
ICE expects to launch mobile phone plans for its 4G network by mid-December. The carriers must wait for a new regulation to go into effect on Nov. 30 that allows users to keep their phone numbers if they decide to switch carriers.
4G is considered 10 times faster than the current 3G network, making it easier to download files, play games, surf the web or watch videos. The state agency launched a test plan in July offering 4G services to some clients.
“We have invested a lot of money, approximately $10 million, for implementing this technology, but we will invest more to guarantee customer satisfaction,” ICE Marketing Director Danny Salas said in the press release.
Plan prices will be announced next month, but carriers said they will offer competitive prices to prevent customers from switching to other companies.
Claro and Movistar, the two biggest private carriers in Costa Rica, have stated they will offer 4G network services, although they have not specified what date the service will be available.
“We will base our strategy in offering a bigger bandwidth than all other operators,” Claro sales manager Leonardo Ramírez said at a recent telecommunications expo in San José. They expect to begin offering 4G in early 2014.