Resistance to Cell Phone Competition

The state-owned communications company in Costa Rica has filed 20 law suits in an attempt to stop number portability.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Surveys say that mobile users aren’t currently showing much inclination to switch service providers. New entrants have experienced set backs in providing coverage throughout Costa Rica, due to, among other factors, the difficulties in obtaining the necessary permits from municipalities to install their antennas.

But the main factor influencing the lack of motivation to change providers is that at the moment it would mean losing the phone number that identifies customers, to their friends and family. When number portability is implemented, the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE) is more likely to lose customers to their competitors. reported that "The Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) has lost 20 attempts to prevent number portability service for cell phone users. Such a facility would allow customers to switch from one operator to another while retaining their phone number. The suits were filed between January 4 and October 30 with the Superintendency of Telecommunications (Sutel). "

More on this topic

Number Portability Will Promote Competition

October 2013

With its entry into force in late November, both the regulator as well as telephone companies predict fierce competition because of attempts to retain and attract customers.

"This law promotes stronger dynamism in the market and gives the user the power to negotiate what suits them.

Costa Rica: Telecoms Reach Agreement on Portability

April 2013

The supervisor of telecommunications and major operators have agreed to implement number portability in November 2013.

After arguing that it was technically impossible to implement the necessary equipment until March 2014, "the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) agreed to accelerate the purchase of equipment in order to implement number portability, while Movistar and Claro operators relaxed deadlines for developing the system which had been agreed on months ago," noted an article in

Democracy vs. Public Corporations

April 2013

The Costa Rica state telecom company is moving away from the purpose that justifies its existence and is impeding the exercise of the popular will in terms of the cellular market opening up.

The Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE), after using every piece of legal chicanery imaginable to prevent the implementation of number portability, is now simply saying "I WONT SIGN", citing technical insolvency as its reason for not integrating the system that allows users to migrate from one cellular communication provider to another, while keeping their phone number.

Telephone Operators Seek Customers in Costa Rica

November 2011

ICE, Claro and Movistar are promoting their products and payment plans to corporate clients.

With various promotions and discounts, the main operators in the Costa Rican telecommunications market have begun competing for corporate customers that may want to integrate all their services with one provider.