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Costa Rican Regulator Proposes Changes to Mobile Data Charges

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Costa Rica's mobile networks may be allowed to change how they bill for mobile broadband services, if plans by the telecoms regulator, Sutel are approved.

Sutel is planning to hold a public consultation on the changes, which will see the mobile networks allowed to charge for the amount of data downloaded rather than the speed at which it is downloaded.

That would bring them in line with how most countries operate billing for mobile broadband services, but the move is being opposed by local consumer groups.

Sutel spokesman Eduardo Castellón said that the changed "will provide carriers with more financial resources to improve service quality,"

The government is also said to be supportive of the changes, also to improve the finances of the mobile networks -- so long as that then leads to improvements in the quality of service.

Around 3 million people use mobile broadband services in the country, and it is estimated that some 150,000 would be adversely affected by the changes, although they would only come into effect for new contracts.

If approved, then the charges, which would be fixed at the equivalent of US$7 for 500Mb of data could come into effect from August.

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Tags: sutel  Costa Rica