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November 22nd, 2006
The Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE) – our friendly local state-run telecommunications monopoly has decided to purchase an entirely new GSM cell phone network rather than expand the current network.
Why is this a big deal? Because with this announcement, we know that it will be at least another year… more likely two-three years before cell phone (telephone) numbers can again be purchased. Believe it or not, this is probably good news.
The current GSM network has been criticized by users for offering poor service, in both signal strength and coverage. Further, at peak hours, service is poor, calls are dropped or not connected. Coverage in many areas of the country is just crummy. In reality, these are understatements as the current GSM system truly sucks and offers lousy service at best.
Purchasing a new system may well heal some of the issues now prevalent with the current system. According to one report, ICE has stated that the new system will be available within 8-9 months to a year, but those of us who live here find that to be a bit… well… optimistic. Nothing happens in nine months in Costa Rica… except births. In reality, things just don’t work that way in Costa Rica. So for now, those who are eligible to buy a cell phone line (currently citizens and legal Costa Rica Residents), must add their names to a list… and wait… and wait…
The few TDMA cell lines (also known as “the old system” or more accurately “the system that actually works”) were available last week, but they are now gone.Filed under Costa Rica, Costa Rica Tourism, ICE, Immigration & Residency, Life in Costa Rica, Living in Costa Rica, Moving to Costa Rica, Retire in Costa Rica, Technical Stuff, Travel | Comments (11)