Prepaid cellular service has won the hearts of Costa Rican, accounting for 69% of all active cellular lines in the country, bringing the cellular penetration to 101% in 2011.
Only 4 years ago, in 2008 market penetration was only 42%, with the growth attributed to the arrival of foreign operators and the adaptation of the prepaid system.
Carlos Raul Gutierrez, chairman of the SUTEL (the telecom regulator) says that half the devices connected to the 3 networks are approved, allowing better services to users.
It is estimate that the state telecom ICE has 4 million subscribers, while Claro and Movistar that began operation last December have 154.000 and 150.000 respectively.
(VICKI POINT - Interesting fact as the WHOLE population [that answered the Costa Rica Census in '11] is just over 4,300,000!! Of course pre-paid subscribers are also a LOT of tourists or people not necessarily living here full time.
Now, let's hope ICE will FINALLY get out of whatever mode they are in and FINALLY give us that have stayed with them [in BIG PART because if we switch to other providers we loose our phone number! I've had mine over 7 years - I'm not willing to do that as it's too "out there"!!]. I've noticed it got WAYYYYY worse once the monopoly was broken it. I've had MANY share the similar sentiment I've had - wondering if they're like throwing a temper tantrum [or doing that "Cutting off your nose to spite your face" caca] of "You've abandoned us so we're going to show YOU!!!" as I've been traveling around CR with a 3G iPhone & I am paying for the premium speed & I RARELY get WiFi and the cell connection SUCKS 80+% of the time!! I had to give up 2 places I was living because my cell connection [and Kolbi WiFi Datacard] were SOOOOOO HORRIBLE and BOTH were in Escazu - THE NICEST and most affluent areas in Costa Rica!! You'd think we'd get the BEST service - but NOOOOO!!! I had not one but FOUR ICE employees tell me that ICE has all but abandoned the area basically just south of Centro Escazu/the park and MoviStar is WAYYYYYY SUPERIOR in these areas [especially up in San Antonio de Escazu]!! 2 employees that live in San Antonio HAD to switch to MoviStar because of this!!!! Last week I was out and about around/in San Isidro de General [about 3 hours South of San Jose] and cell sucked! And now I'm Pet Sitting WAYYYY up in the mountains of Escazu - on the opposite side - near my FAVORITE restaurant La Monastere - SUCKS here also!!! I think I'm just going to get a MoviStar Pre-Paid card and see if anyone has an old 3G cell they no longer want and they want to donate to me - that way I have backup when I'm in these situations!!! Know anyone with an extra one they're not using???)
(for the rest of this article, read about it at: http://InsideCostaRica.com/dailynews/2012/april/03/costarica12040306.htm
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