Costa Rican telecoms watchdog Superintendencia de Telecomunicaciones (Sutel) has selected Aircom International to provide its ASSET tool to monitor and analyse the performance of the nation’s mobile networks. ASSET will allow Sutel to identify areas with poor network coverage, weak signal strength and high levels of interference whilst common benchmarks will ensure an equal comparison across all networks. The data will then be used to inform policy decisions, and assess operator’s compliance with coverage requirements and quality standards. Sutel’s services quality director, Glenn Fallas commented: ‘Our mobile industry, while young, is growing fast. This year, mobile penetration in Costa Rica reached 100%, up from under 50% in 2008. AIRCOM’s ASSET tool will allow us to continually monitor the progress being made in ensuring that reliable telecoms services are available to everyone in the country.’
TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that the introduction of competition in the wireless segment in November last year ran into difficulties, when the two new operators Claro Costa Rica and Movistar Costa Rica (units of America Movil [AM] and Telefonica respectively) struggled to meet network coverage requirements. The network of incumbent cellco ICE Celular was also found wanting; following an analysis of the provider’s coverage on roads, Sutel announced that 2G coverage on only six of the 35 routes analysed met regulatory requirements, whilst 3G coverage was a little better meeting standards on 14 of the routes. ICE challenged the validity of the report, however, attributing the results to localised technical faults and flawed methodology in Sutel’s analysis.