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A.M. Costa Rica
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San José, Costa Rica, Monday Edition
October 23, 2017, Vol. 17, No. 207
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Telecom providers free to set their own prices, according to Superintendencia

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Cellular operators in the country are able to establish their own prices and to create their plans in the way it best suits them, without having to go through any regulatory process, according to the Superintendencia de Telecomunicaciones.

The Superintendencia confirmed the free competition status after rejecting an appeal filed by the Ombudsman's Office
which hoped to prevent the move.

On Monday, September 18, The Superintendencia gave Claro, ICE and Movistar the freedom to define the voice and data packages prices they want. Prior to this, prices were regulated by the Superintendencia and could not be changed except by a process of hearings and studies.

For operators, this will mean greater options to vary their offer
ings. They can, for example, offer packages of data and voice different from the current ones, without having to be tied to the maximums or minimums as before.

The main opponent of the move has been the Ombudsman's Office, which filed an appeal to try to reverse the decision. In their appeal, the office claimed that the Superintendencia had not proved that there was a real competition as they used market studies with a one year gap.

The Ombudsman said that there had been very few changes in the market in the last 12 months and the declaration would not mean more benefits to the consumers.

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The Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court still studies another appeal against the open market status in telecom.

However, the Superintendencia rejected the appeal by saying "the presence of a few operators in the market does not imply that there are no competitive conditions in the country. All mobile telecommunications have benefited user with lower prices since the opening of the market is due to competitiveness."

"The study is consistent with the methodology of analysis previously approved - after a public consultation process carried out in 2015 - for the review of telecommunication markets, so that the analysis performed adheres to each of the parameters had established." added the Superintendency.

According to the latest report, by 2016 there were a total of 6.4 million subscriptions in prepaid mobile services and 1.8 million in yearly plans, as well as 5.2 million mobile internet subscriptions.

Déposito Libre de Golfito expands its operation

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Déposito Libre de Golfito, a duty free commercial zone in the south area of Costa Rica, will build 14 new premises to replace some that burned a few years ago.

The Junta de Desarrollo de la Zona Sur de Costa Rica, the organisation in charge of the Depósito, granted the construction project to the Banco de Costa Rica.

This initiative was made possible after a reform to the Ley de Judesur, which will allow the surpluses of the institution to be used in the project on a one-time basis.
In addition to the 14 premises, the
organization will build two new electrical modules that will provide the power required by the new facilities.

"With these works, the Depósito will have a significant commercial twist in terms of infrastructure, product portfolio and new services
, said Edwin Duarte, member of the Executive Board. We intend to attract more visitors to this area."
JODESUR photo    
The Déposito Libre Comercial de Golfito is a duty-free site where most of Ticos buy clothing, household appliances and liquor.

These premises are expected to create 50 direct jobs and more income from new rentals and tax revenues, which will in turn, foster new development projects for the cantons of Osa, Buenos Aires, Golfito, Coto Brus and Corredores.

"We believe that we must first invest in the Free Deposit, which is the main source of development here in the south and then harvest the results," Duarte said.



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