Costa Rica's telecommunications market offers opportunities with its new liberalization, opening the door for competition across all segments and boosting mobile penetration to 136 percent by 2015 with prepaid subscriptions, according to a new report from Pyramid Research.
Costa Rica is the last country in Latin America to liberalize its telecommunications industry. Now, the regulator in Costa Rica has been quite busy with the liberalization of fixed and mobile services taking place. "Costa Rica is auctioning three mobile licenses over the next few months, and the process is expected to be completed before year end," says Jose Magana, Senior Analyst at Pyramid Research. "New regulation includes number portability and infrastructure sharing."
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"Mobile penetration of the population closed at 52 percent in 2009, one of the lowest rates in Latin America and not consistent with the income level of the population," says Magana. "We forecast that after liberalization, mobile penetration will advance to 136 percent by 2015 with prepaid subscriptions accounting for 79 percent of the total, and that mobile revenue will advance to $831 million by 2015 from $603 million in 2009, with gains coming mostly from data services, such as mobile broadband."
Due to the competitiveness of the new liberalized market and the attractiveness of mobile data services, 3G handsets will quickly gain share in the total base, even ahead of Costa Rica's Central American peers. By 2015, 40 percent of all handsets will be 3G. "The lack of subsidies in Costa Rica make replacement of handsets very expensive for subscribers, but we forecast that competition will boost the adoption of advanced handsets, particularly among the high-end segment," adds Magana.
Source: Cellular News