Costa Rica News – November 30th represents a new era in the cell phone market in Costa Rica. Users will be able to keep their phone number if they decide to switch suppliers. This was one of the last remaining barriers to be overcome after the opening of the cell phone market two years ago. Now, telephone companies and the telecommunications encounter a tough battle to retain customers and to attract more.
In a market of 5.3 million lines where users go over their plan, on average five times a year, companies have the pressure to provide different offers to accommodate for customer’s needs. However, catering to what people want has not always been a priority for the cell phone companies operation in the country, and it is why steps like the open cell phone market move the companies towards effective competition.
New plan options will be released before the payment of bonuses at the end of the year. Portability of cell phones will now be one of the major factors on what cell phone company a person works with. People can expect a new variety of cell phones including iPhone and iPhone 5s 5c.
Sutel spokesman, Eduardo Castellon said the new open cell phone market has forced providers to care more about their competition and service to the customer. For the user, this means more options to negotiate and get what he or she needs. Castellon also recommended that users be cautious and closely read the contracts since companies will be very competitive, especially with Christmas season approaching.
According to Sutel figures, revenue in this market totaled ¢ 387,710 million for 2012 with three mobile network operators (Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad , Claro and Telefonica ) and two virtual ( Tuyo Mobile and Mobile Full ). This amount is 11% higher compared to the amount raised in 2011. With phone portability active, Sutel estimates a migration of 130,000 users, which will fuel more the dispute between the companies to gain followers.
The portability number is intended to ensure effective competition, inter-operability between networks, access and interconnection obligations and avoid the imposition of market entry barriers. According to the article 28 of the National Numbering Plan, network operators and telecommunications service providers are forced to ensure this.
By Brenda Sotelo