The Ministry of the Environment, Energy and Telecommunications (Minaet) has promised to award three mobile network operator licences by April next year. According to local media reports Minaet will either award the concessions via a straight auction or via a process involving a number of pre-selection criteria. The tender will be launched in September 2009, with the licences to be awarded between March and April 2010. Hannia Vega, telecommunications vice-minister, said that the first mobile concession winners would likely launch operations by mid-2010. Four firms have already said they plan to bid for a licence in Costa Rica, including Millicom International Cellular-backed Tigo-Amnet, Telefonica, Digicel and Cable and Wireless.