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No More Cell Phone Lines… AGAIN!

October 20th, 2006

For most of the years I have been in Costa Rica, you could not just run down to your local cell phone store or to ICE and get a new phone line. You could always buy the PHONE but not the line. Nope… You had to wait. You had to place you name on a waiting list… and wait. Sometimes a year or two. Once your name came up on the list, you could buy a LINE (presuming you were a legal resident, a citizen, or owned a corporation), and have it installed on the phone.

Well thanks to your local friends at ICE (why YES!, The very same ones who are fighting the Free Trade Agreement tooth and nail), the good old days are returning!

The Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE) – the state monopoly on telecommunications – announced that it had about 15.000 cellular lines left and THAT was a couple of weeks ago. Those lines are what remains of the “new” GSM service that was part of 600.000 lines that were offered for the first time last December. You DO remember that right? The 600,000 lines that never work?

Well just like the women who buy those awful pointy shoes because they think they are stylish and make their legs look great, this proves there stilll more than enough suckers in the world that over 585,000 of those barely working phone lines have been sold. Was at PT Barnum that said something about a sucker a minute?

According to news articles, ICE did not foresee the high demand (HUH????) and things will, in a matter of days, revert to the way they were before the “new” system was installed by the Ericsson company.

Of the old 400.000 GSM lines installed by Alcatel (that didn’t work either, BTW), there aren’t any left… and what us WORSE… ICE doesn’t even have any of the TDMA lines (also known as “the lines that really WORK“.

What sorta frosts my twinkie is that next week, we are going to face another ICE work slowdown… offices closed Monday and Tuesday… while ICE workers take to the streets to try to convince their fellow citizens that the Free Trade Agreement (TLC) is not needed because ICE is running efficiently and needs no outside interference. Okaaay. Yeah. Whatever.

3 Responses to “No More Cell Phone Lines… AGAIN!”

  1. WIl Harper on June 30, 2007 4:31 pm

    I work in the telecom. field and just recently visited Costa Rica. I fell in love with the contry and am thinking of relocating there.
    I lesrned of the ICE monopoly and thoght how do I
    stay in my current occupation in the Telecom feld.
    I guess ICE is the only telecom employer? I would like a free trade agreement, it could help me in my effort to elocate. What do I do to help?

  2. Tim on August 10, 2007 8:55 am

    Without Permanent Residency, you still could not work in Costa Rica. Also, even if the TLC passes, it will be 8-10 years before the communications part is implemented.

    As for helping… really nothing you can do.

  3. mario ramirez on August 24, 2007 10:09 am

    we should give all ice building directions to Osama Bin Laden. He could take of their ineffeciencies