Sutel to consider flat rate for mobile internet

12 Jun 2014

Costa Rican regulator Superintendencia de Telecomunicaciones (Sutel) has announced that it will hold a public consultation regarding the possible introduction of a flat rate for mobile internet services for both pre- and post-paid customers based on the amount of data transferred, local news outlet El Financiero reports. Under the proposed scheme, all users would be charged CRC0.0075 (USD0.00001) per kB, regardless of transmission speed, and at present, that pricing model is used only in the pre-paid space. Senoran Matias, the manager of Spanish-backed cellco Movistar, a relative newcomer to the market, commented that the charging model was a necessary change and would allow a wider range of offers, adaptable to the needs of customers, adding that limited download plans were ‘unsustainable.’ The hearing is scheduled for 1 July and Sutel has a month to respond to the comments of the consultation before making a decision on the tariff plan.

Sutel president Mayleana Mendez was quoted by TeleSemana in an interview in late April as saying that unlimited use tariffs had created a strain on the network resources of telcos, to the detriment of overall service quality and going as far as to say that some ‘aggressive’ consumers were almost abusing the system. According to Mendez, 40% of network resources were being consumed by 5% of the subscriber base. The official added that the situation was troubling and that the regulator was investigating measures to address the matter.