Public Corporativism That Limits Development

Imposing limits on the use of mobile internet services in an open market is as logical as imposing limits on the number of miles a car owner can drive.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014


In Costa Rica the state run telecom company is seeking to impose limitations on users of mobile internet services.

The opening of the telecommunications market in Costa Rica culminated in a legislative context aimed at protecting competition in terms of the Instituto Costarricense de Telecomunicaciones (ICE), which up until then had had a monopoly on the provision of communications services.

As a result of this implicit protection of the state corporation - which has its own difficulties as the elephantine state run company competes in a sector as agile as the modern telecommunications industry is -the Telecommunications Regulator (Sutel) has as its dictate that "... cellular mobile internet services are a scarce resource, you have to use it for basic stuff."

Based on this concept the SUTEL endorses the medieval procedure activated by ICE, of limiting the "excessive" use of mobile internet services by some users, through arbitrary decisions in the terms of the contract signed by customers using postpaid phone services.

The solution to the problem of saturation of the mobile internet networks must pass through rational charging schemes related to intensity of use, and never on schemes based on concepts that put limitations on the use of the service. This anti-development is equivalent to the idea of imposing on car owner a limit on the amount of kilometers they can drive.

More on this topic

Costa Rica: $6 million for Telecommunications

February 2017

The state run electricity company ICE and Claro have obtained contracts to build infrastructure to provide internet and mobile telephony services in 620 communities in the province of Limon.

From a statement issued by the Sutel:

January 5, 2017. The National Telecommunications Fund (FONATEL) through Banco Nacional, as administrator of the Trust, signed contracts with Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE) and Claro to bring internet telephony to 620 vulnerable communities in the districts of Siquirres, Pococi, Guácimo, Matina, Limón and Talamanca.

Costa Rica: Proposal for Mobile Data Consumption

October 2015

On October 28th the Telecommunications Superintendency will be giving a public presentation on the charges for downloading via internet on postpaid mobile phones.

From a statement issued by the Superintendency of Telecommunications:

Users will have new charging scheme for postpaid mobile internet

Awards: Telecoms Projects for $10 million

May 2015

In Costa Rica contracts have been awarded to the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad and Claro to provide telephony and broadband Internet services in six cantons in the south of the country.

The Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) will be responsible for developing projects in Buenos Aires, Osa, Corredores, Coto Brus and Golfito. Meanwhile Claro de Costa Rica is in charge of projects in the area of ​​Perez Zeledon.

Concepts that Threaten Development

December 2012

A spokesman for the Superintendency of Telecommunications in Costa Rica noted that mobile phone use their Internet connection in an "exaggerated" way.

In an attempt to justify Costa Rica’s technical and regulatory backwardness in mobile communications with respect to the developed world, an official from the Telecommunications Authority of Costa Rica (SUTEL), suggests that users of mobile connections limit their access to the internet.