The Costa Rican government has invited eight companies to compete for a contract to supply 3G equipment for state-owned telecoms operator ICE’s planned deployment of the technology in 2009, writes BNamericas citing local daily Al Dia. According to the newspaper, Samsung, Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, Huawei, ZTE, Nokia Siemens Networks, Motorola and NEC were all invited to present offers. The news came on the back of an official announcement that ICE would not – as had been previously been announced – accept financing for the contract from the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (Cabei). ICE said that going on observations made by the comptroller general, it had decided ‘to opt for a different purchasing mechanism’ for its 1.5 million 3G network, estimated to cost around USD225 million. Cabei was scheduled to buy the 3G equipment from a private company and then rent it to ICE with the option for ICE to purchase it at a later date.