Costa Rica Not Controlling Cellular Coverage

The arbitrariness with which municipalities are issuing permits to build cell towers is preventing controls and the ability to demand better coverage.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

The obstacles imposed by the different municipalities have forced the suspension of the timeframe which telephone companies were given to meet the required demand for coverage in order to operate in the market. reports that "... The suspension of timeframe prevents the country from demanding better coverage from operators, who in the meantime, are enjoying extra time to resolve [the issues]. This is due to the fact that it is possible for each municipality to establish their own requirements over whether to allow towers, poles or similar infrastructure in their domains. "

However, the three authorized operators claim to be complying with the level of coverage required. Representatives of the Costa Rican Electricity Institute, said that "... In July we already had coverage of 98% in populated areas, despite the obstacles ... While Movistar already has 98% coverage ... and finally, Claro claims to have 96% coverage in the districts. "

More on this topic

Bureaucracy for Cell Towers takes 165 days

August 2012

The technology installed in the towers is from the 21st Century. The bureaucracy that is authorizing them is from the 19th century.

The progress of communications is getting slower in Costa Rica, with cell phone companies unable to meet the deadlines for achieving the necessary territorial coverage, because municipalities are taking up to 5 ½ months to give permission for each tower.

Private Cell Phone Coverage Expands in Costa Rica

February 2012

Claro and Movistar are bringing forward their plans to grow putting the state run ICE, until recently a monopoly, under pressure.

Claro plans to advance by four years rolling out their infrastructure. For its part, Movistar reports that its sales network has grown 30% since November, when they and Claro entered the market, breaking up the state monopoly by the ICE.

Movistar Launches Commercial Operations in Costa Rica

October 2011

While announcing that the service coverage will be limited due to problems with local municipalities regarding the installation of antennas, the Spanish company opened pre-registration for clients.

The announcement was made by the Director for Costa Rica, Jorge Abadia, adding "We wont have the 100% coverage that we would like from the first day but we will achieve it."

The Monopoly on Cell Phones is Hard to Crack ...

September 2011

Since November 2010 installing a cell phone tower within 15 kilometers of a Costa Rican airport has required a detailed analysis and authorisation by the Civil Aviation Authority.

Prior to that date, the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE) had no trouble installing the towers, but now the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has decided to adhere to international standards and make everyone endure the the red tape required for granting installation permits.