New network rollouts stalled

23 Mar 2012

New entrants to Costa Rica’s wireless market, Claro Costa Rica and Movistar Costa Rica (subsidiaries of Mexico’s America Movil and Spain’s Telefonica respectively) have appealed to the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Telecommunications (MINAE) to extend their network rollout deadline, following further difficulties in acquiring permissions to erect infrastructure. The cellcos require permission from municipalities to build towers, though the process has been slowed by the fact that most areas have no regulations in place regarding the construction of telecoms infrastructure. Under the licences issued to Claro and Movistar in January last year, the pair are obliged to roll out networks in three stages within five years, with the first phase due to be completed by mid-July. The two cellcos launched services over GSM and W-CDMA networks in late November 2011.