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March 26th, 2010
As many folks know, I have been a staunch proponent of the old TDMA cell phones for… well forever! They worked and worked well. Real workhorses. I hated the GSM phones and I still do. However, my wifey switched to the new 3G system a few weeks ago, and I was so impressed (we actually had cell phone service in my office between San Jose and the SJO airport!) that I went out and bought one for me.
Now, after testing it and playing with it, I am ready to endorse the new 3G system. I did not order the Internet option as 1. is it too expensive and 2. My Ipod Touch does a far better job and has full wireless. Still… the 3G service is far better than the old GSM system.
If this topic interest you… read on!So what did ICE do now? Basically, they have been shutting off service arbitrarily to a lot TDMA users. A LOT! As some of you know, one of my businesses here in Costa Rica rents cell phones to tourists and to long term clients. I have been doing this for about 7 years and we have a large customer base and a lot of cell phones, mostly TDMA because they work!
Saying that, you can imagine how I felt this past two weeks when our dear, and hopefully soon to be departed, monopoly started playing fast and loose with my TDMA customers! I was truly honked! Obviously we called ICE and were told, “Huh? We are having no problems.” ICE sure had better get their customer service s__t together before their competition comes in or it will be bye-bye ICE.
Incredible, La Nacion sure heard about their shenanigans as they wrote at least two articles discussing the service cuts and saying that a lot of people have filed denuncias (like law suits) against ICE. Not surprising… there are still over 250,000 TDMA customers!
My suspicion is that ICE is having these “issues” to force TDMA users to switch to 3G long before 2011, the year they said TDMA will finally be shut down. My other suspicion is that they will never shut down TDMA as those new 3G phones are very expensive and to make a quarter of a million people (mostly Ticos who cannot just run out and buy a new phone when they want) switch would present a financial hardship to them.
However, their tactic worked with me…
Obviously, I could not sit by while my paying customers had no cell service…. so…. this week I bought all new 3G phones for my business, and that kind folks, was not cheap deal.
I guess I can now advertise that we are the only 100% 3G cell phone rental business in Costa Rica. The new phones all sport bluetooth and 2 megapixel cameras.
It better work. Those damned phones cost me a fortune!Filed under Cell Phones, Communications, Costa Rica, ICE, Life in Costa Rica, Opinion, Technical Stuff, Tourism, Travel to Costa Rica | Comments (41)