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Costa Rica's ICE Looks for Overseas Growth as Competition Looms

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Costa Rica's former monopoly mobile network operator, Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE) says that it will look to expand overseas as it faces competition in its home market for the first time later this year.

Orlando Cascante, director de Negocios Internacionales del ICE, told local news media that the company is finalizing financing arrangements and defining market niches in which it will focus. The plan by ICE is to spread itself through Central America as part of the its 2010-2014 business strategy.

The company has had a 60-year monopoly on providing telecoms services, but the government was obliged to break its monopoly as part of a Free Trade agreement signed with the USA. Two bidders, Telefonica and America Movil were granted mobile licenses earlier this month and expect to launch services sometime in the third-quarter of the year.

ICE still retains a monopoly on the landline service, pending the issuance of licenses for those services.

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Tags: Costa Rica