Cellcos call for Sutel to speed up deregulation of tariffs

28 Aug 2015

Costa Rica’s trio of mobile network operators (MNOs) have criticised sector regulator Superintendencia de Telecomunicaciones (Sutel) for dragging its feet with regard to the deregulation of tariffs, El Financiero reports. The watchdog is currently carrying out a five-stage market analysis programme to determine whether or not the market is competitive, before it relinquishes control of its tariff-setting duties.

The process is expected to be completed by the end of 2015, but three of the studies have yet to be completed, namely: a national survey to assess the ‘substitutability between telecommunications services’, which will look at the use and accessibility of fixed and mobile telephony and internet services; a comparative study of international markets, comparing Costa Rican indicators with those of other countries with an ‘equal or higher level of development’ in the telecoms sector; and a final market analysis, determining dominant operator status where necessary.

State-owned utility firm Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE), which offers telecoms services under the Kolbi brand, as well as Claro and Movistar – the local units of America Movil (AM) and Telefonica, respectively – have criticised the regulator for the length of time it has taken to carry out the studies, and are eager to assume control of their tariffs so that they can develop new packages and services.