Telecoms in Costa Rica: Tariff Liberalization Delayed

Operators are questioning the slow pace of the Superintendency in analyzing the market to determine the existence of effective competition and eliminate caps on rates.

Monday, August 24, 2015

The study being carried out by the Telecommunications Authority to analyze the details of the market and define whether there is effective competition should be ready by the end of the year, but operators say the lack of speed with which the process is being carried, will prevent this deadline from being met. This will delay the eventual liberalization of tariffs in telephony and internet services. reports that "... While operators -from different trenches - are concerned about the slow pace, the regulator is insisting on the need to carry out the process set out in a resolution of June 1 (the RCS-082- 2015) and complete three studies."

Claro, ICE and Telefonica agree that the market has changed and for that reason the Sutel needs to act with more dynamism. Claro points to an "obligation" adopted by the Costa Rican government in international treaties, ratified by the General Telecommunications Law, establishing the model of effective competition. Victor Garcia, manager of regulatory affairs at Claro said that 'The conditions for effective competition correspond to an obligation adopted by the State of Costa Rica as a prerequisite for the opening of the ICE and dominance in all relevant markets, including international roaming, is not a condition for the fulfillment of that obligation. '"

On the other hand the ICE "... is trying to alter the view that it is the dominant operator - fearing limitations, and the additional costs that this implies - it wants the title to also be given to Claro and Telefonica because of their presence market in the region. "

More on this topic

Costa Rica: YES to Regional Roaming Without Large Cost

September 2015

The telecommunications regulator has not found that the services provided by private operators for regional roaming at no additional cost are anti-competitive.

The complaint filed by the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad purported to show that its competitors in the mobile phone market Claro and Telefonica were implementing anti-competitive practices when setting prices for their services in the country.

Telecoms in Costa Rica: Price Fixing Slows Competition

September 2014

Operators of the telecommunications market in Costa Rica are calling for intervention by the regulator in rates to be removed and for operations to be carried out within a framework of real commercial freedom.

After more than six years of having promoted laws which opened up the telecommunications market in Costa Rica, no operator has the ability to unilaterally set final prices or manipulate conditions in the telecommunications market.

Costa Rica: Call for Liberalization of Prices in Telecommunications

August 2014

The industry is calling for effective competition to be allowed with the market setting rates and not the Telecommunications Regulator.

Operators of telephony and internet services are asking for the establishment of maximum rates by the Superintendencia de Telecomunicaciones (Sutel) to be eliminated, applying what is contemplated in the Telecommunications Act, which allows the possibility of not intervening in the setting of rates. The companies point out that "... the market prices are up to six times lower than the maximum rate established by the Sutel."

Complaints about Price Fixing in Cell Phone Companies

August 2011

At the start of privatisation of the cellular market in Costa Rica, the Mexican company Claro is questioning agreements between the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE) and the Spanish run Telefónica.

The complaint filed by Claro to the Superintendency of Telecommunications (Sutel) indicates that in the access and interconnection agreement signed between the ICE and Telefonica, there are clauses where both companies are committed to not charging prices below the cost of services rendered, considering interconnection charges as a common expense to both parties.