The Costa Rican Institute of Electricity (ICE) launched a Fourth Generation (4G) network for processing data up to 10 MB on Monday, November 25th. However, the technology will be available in all provinces except for Guanacaste, which will get it next year.
But why not Guanacaste from the start? The chief of ICE’s Mobile Division of the telecommunications department, Jose Pablo Blotta, explained to The Voice of Guanacaste that the province has been included in the second phase of the Long Term Evolution (LTE) project, because, “Topographical conditions and the distance between communities requires a higher deployment of optical fiber, which necessitates more time for the connection.
Blotta indicated that, “We are hoping that Guanacaste will have service for at least 25 sites or LTE points of presence during the first trimester of 2014, and afterwards more infrastructure will be deployed according to what the technical and market conditions allow.”
According to Blotta, “A plan for the LTE network has been drawn up to serve the demand for mobile broadband service at a national level including Guanacaste; however, the deployment also takes in to account technical requirements which should be fulfilled in order to bring the service to the highest number of commercial, industrial, and hotel zones, etc.”
At the moment, some complain that the internet connection plans available in the market have very high prices. Of three plans with speeds between six and ten megabits per second (Mbps) and which are only available in prepaid mode, the Ultra plan has a 1,000 Megabyte (MB) limit with a speed of up to six Mbps for ₡3,000 ($6) per day. The Ultra Six plan has a speed of up to 10 Mbs with a transfer of 6,000 MB and has a cost of ₡27,000 ($54) per month, while the Ultra 15 allows 15,000 MB of transfer and speeds up to 10 Mbps and a monthly cost of ₡48,000 ($96).
Danny Salas, ICE’s marketing director, indicated that after the first phase, 4G plans for smart phones that meet the technical requirements for 4G LTE will be available, though the launch date is still unknown.
Finally, international providers Movistar and Claro indicated that their entrance into the market for this technology should wait a bit longer.