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Costa Rica telephony auction

Monday, August 8, 2016

Mobile operators will be able to participate in a Costa Rican spectrum auction in 2017, following the publication later this year of detailed guidelines by the telecom regulator.

The auction will involve 35 MHz of paired spectrum, consisting of 2x20 MHz of 1800-MHz frequencies, and 2x15 MHz in the 1900/2100 MHz band, according to preliminary information released last week by the Superintendencia de Telecomunicaciones (Sutel).

The auction will be open to any mobile operator with a minimum of five years' experience, as well as gross income equal to 50% or more of the reserve price of the spectrum blocks, each of which will be 5 MHz.

Movistar, a division of Spain’s Telefónica, and Claro, a division of Mexico’s America Movil, currenly have a market share of 22% and 19%, respectively, following a 2011 auction.

Previously, the Costa Rican telephony market  had been a monopoly of state owned Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (Spanish only).