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Telefonica and America Movil Granted Mobile Licenses in Costa Rica

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Costa Rica's monopoly for mobile phone services held by the state owned Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE) has been broken after the regulator finally awarded mobile licenses to Telefonica and America Movil. The two companies paid USD95 million and USD77 million respectively for their licenses, according to a statement from the regulator, Sutel.

A third license was not awarded, and could be tendered in the future if demand calls for it.

The regulator had previously said that five companies - Cable & Wireless, Telefónica, Claro, Digicel and Millicom - have requested the documents and are said to be serious about bidding. Why the other companies chose not to bid for the remaining license was not explained.

The awards of the licenses to Telefonica and America Movil still need to be formally ratified by the President, and services are expected to start from September.

The government was obliged to open up the market to competition as a condition of entry into the Central American Free-Trade Agreement.

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Tags: sutel  instituto costarricense de  electricidad  telefonica  america movil  Costa Rica