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Costa Rica - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Digital Media - Statistics and Analyses

  • April 2016
  • -
  • Paul Budde Communication Pty Ltd
  • -
  • 47 pages

Government requests the regulator to begin spectrum auction process
Since Costa Rica's telecom sector was liberalised it has shown considerable growth in the number of subscribers for all services. Competition was slow to develop, leaving the state owned operator ICE with a monopoly for a number of years, though there is now effective competition in all sectors. ICE remains the dominant provider of fixed-line services, while its subsidiary RACSA offers broadband via cable modem and WiMAX services.

The number of fixed-lines has fallen in recent years, though the decline has been offset by growing consumer use of VoIP services. This has been stimulated by the recent hike in tariffs for fixed-line calls. The mobile market was liberalised in late 2011, and since then the major new competitors Claro and Movistar have captured a growing proportion of the market.

Costa Rica's broadband market is the most developed in Central America, with the highest broadband penetration for this sub-region. Geographical distribution however is unequal, with a much higher digital gap than in the case of telephone services. Compared with the whole of Latin America, Costa Rica's broadband penetration lags behind Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, and some Caribbean islands.

The regulator has documented steady increase in overall telecom sector revenue in recent years, with a 17% growth in both 2012 and 2013, climbing to 34% in 2014. Fixed-line voice services accounted for about 5% of revenue in 2014 while revenue from VoIP services, though increasing sharply in recent years, accounted for only 1%. Total investment by operators was equal to 1% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), while revenue accounted for 3% of GDP in 2014.

The Costa Rican telecom sector has showed greater resilience than most in the region, and with the implementation of number portability there is greater scope for increased competition in coming years.

The DTT market continues to develop, with the first digital broadcast made in 2012, though there are as yet few subscribers to the service. The switch to DTTV is expected to be completed by the end of 2017.


Key developments:
Sutel prepares tender for an additional 15 projects funded by Fonatel;
Telefónica launches OTT Movistar Play service;
Master Plan for DTT adopted, with analogue broadcasts to close in December 2017;
Government calls on regulator to begin process to auction 70MHz of spectrum in the 1800MHz and 1900MHz/2100MHz bands;
ICE unifies its two pay-TV operations under a single brand;
Sutel adopts LRIC model to calculate access and interconnection rates;
Claro launches triple play bundles;
Commercial LTE services gain geographic scope;
Full Móvil acquired by Grupo ICE;
Tigo rebrands all services as Tigo Star', extends satellite TV launches to Costa Rica and Honduras.
Anticipated spectrum auction to bolster reach of LTE;
Number Portability process reduced to two days;
Report includes the regulator's market data report for 2014; telcos' financial and operating data updates to Q2 2015, recent market developments.

Key telecom parameters 2015 (e)
Penetration of telecoms services: | Penetration
Fixed-line telephony | 17.7%
Fixed broadband | 11.6%
Mobile SIM (population) | 152%
(Source: BuddeComm)


Companies mentioned in this report include:
Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE), RASCA, Tigo, Cable Tica.

Table Of Contents

Costa Rica - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Digital Media - Statistics and Analyses
1. Executive summary
2. Key statistics
2.1 Country overview
3. Telecommunications market
3.1 Market analysis latest developments
4. Regulatory environment
4.1 Background
4.1.1 General Telecommunications Law
4.2 Regulatory authority
4.2.1 Sutel
4.3 Government policies
4.3.1 Sector liberalisation
4.4 Universalisation fund (Fonatel)
4.5 Interconnect
4.6 Access
4.7 Number Portability (NP)
4.8 Tariffs
4.9 DR-CAFTA
5. Fixed network operators
5.1 ICE
5.2 Claro
6. Telecommunications infrastructure
6.1 National telecom network
6.2 Internet Exchange Points (IXPs)
7. International infrastructure
7.1 Interconnection with other Central American countries
7.2 Submarine cable networks
7.3 Satellite networks
7.4 Infrastructure developments
7.4.1 IP and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
7.5 Smart infrastructure
8. Wholesale
9. Broadband market
9.1 Introduction and statistical overview
9.1.1 Market analysis
9.1.2 Broadband statistics
9.2 Hybrid Fibre Coax (HFC) networks
9.2.1 RACSA
9.3 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) networks
9.4 Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP) and Fibre-To-The-Home (FttH)
9.5 Other fixed-line broadband services
9.5.1 Fixed wireless (WiMAX, WiBro, Wi-Fi)
9.5.2 Internet via satellite
9.6 Digital Media
9.6.1 Introduction
9.6.2 Cable TV
9.6.3 Satellite-based digital pay TV developments
9.6.4 Digital Terrestrial TV (DTTV)
9.6.5 Key digital media players
9.6.6 Videostreaming
10. Mobile communications
10.1 Market analysis latest developments
10.1.1 Mobile statistics
10.2 Mobile data
10.2.1 SMS/MMS
10.3 Mobile broadband
10.4 Regulatory issues
10.4.1 Spectrum auctions
10.4.2 Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
10.4.3 Roaming
10.5 Mobile infrastructure
10.5.1 Overview
10.5.2 Digital networks
10.6 Major mobile operators
10.6.1 ICE (Kölbi, ICE Cellular)
10.6.2 Claro (America Móvil)
10.6.3 Movistar (Telefónica Costa Rica)
10.6.4 Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs)
11. Related reports
Table 1 Country statistics Costa Rica 2015 (e)
Table 2 Telephone network statistics 2015 (e)
Table 3 Internet user statistics 2014 (e)
Table 4 Broadband statistics 2015 (e)
Table 5 Mobile statistics 2015 (e)
Table 6 National telecommunications authority
Table 7 Evolution of GDP in Costa Rica 2000 - 2015
Table 8 Number of authorised telecom service operators 2011 - 2014
Table 9 Telecom sector revenue 2010 - 2016
Table 10 Revenue by sector 2011 - 2014
Table 11 Revenue market share by sector 2011 - 2014
Table 12 ICE financial data 2010 - 2014
Table 13 Historic - Fixed lines in service and teledensity 1997 - 2009
Table 14 Fixed lines in service and teledensity 2010 - 2016
Table 15 PSTN lines 2010 - 2014
Table 16 Fixed-line telephony revenue by platform 2011 - 2016
Table 17 Fixed-line telephony and VoIP ARPU 2011 - 2015
Table 18 Fixed-line telephony traffic 2010 - 2016
Table 19 Average telephony traffic per subscriber (fixed-line and VoIP) 2010 - 2015
Table 20 International bandwidth 2007 - 2014
Table 21 Active VoIP subscriptions and penetration 2010 - 2015
Table 22 VoIP market share by operator 2013 - 2014
Table 23 VoIP services revenue 2011 - 2015
Table 24 Fixed-line broadband revenue and ARPU 2011 - 2016
Table 25 Historic - Internet users and user penetration 1997 - 2010
Table 26 Internet users and user penetration 2010 - 2016
Table 27 Fixed broadband subscribers and penetration 2000 - 2016
Table 28 Historic - Broadband market share by technology 2000 2009
Table 29 Fixed-line internet traffic (DSL, HFC) 2013 - 2016
Table 30 Cable modem subscribers and household penetration 2000 - 2015
Table 31 ADSL subscribers and household penetration 2002 - 2015
Table 32 Fibre broadband subscribers 2010 - 2016
Table 33 WiMAX subscribers 2009 - 2016
Table 34 Subscription TV subscribers - 2010 - 2015
Table 35 Subscription TV share by platform 2010 - 2014
Table 36 Subscription TV revenue by platform- 2011 - 2014
Table 37 Market share of subscription TV subscribers by operator 2010 - 2014
Table 38 Cable TV subscribers and revenue - 2010 - 2016
Table 39 Satellite TV subscribers and revenue - 2010 - 2016
Table 40 DTTV subscribers - 2010 - 2016
Table 41 IPTV subscribers and revenue - 2011 - 2016
Table 42 Average traffic per mobile subscriber - 2011 - 2014
Table 43 Mobile market share by operator - 2011 - 2014
Table 44 Mobile market traffic - 2011 - 2016
Table 45 Mobile revenue by service - 2011 - 2016
Table 46 Proportion of mobile revenue by type - 2011 - 2016
Table 47 Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration - 1998 - 2004
Table 48 Mobile subscribers and penetration - 2005 - 2016
Table 49 Proportion of prepaid and postpaid subscribers - 2010 - 2014
Table 50 Prepaid and contract subscribers - 2010 - 2014
Table 51 SMS and MMS traffic - 2011 - 2015
Table 52 SMS/MMS revenue - 2011 - 2016
Table 53 Mobile internet subscribers - 2009 - 2014
Table 54 Mobile internet revenue - 2013 - 2014
Table 55 Mobile internet traffic - 2013 - 2014
Table 56 ICE mobile subscribers - 2013 - 2014
Table 57 Claro mobile subscribers - 2013 - 2014
Table 58 Movistar mobile subscribers - 2013 - 2014
Table 59 MVNO mobile subscribers by provider - 2011 - 2014
Chart 1 ICE financial data 2010 2014
Chart 2 Fixed lines in service and teledensity 2005 2016
Chart 3 Broadband subscribers and penetration 2000 2016
Chart 4 Cable modem subscribers and household penetration 2000 2015
Chart 5 ADSL subscribers and household penetration 2002 2015
Chart 6 Mobile subscribers and penetration - 2005 2016
Exhibit 1 ICE at a glance
Exhibit 2 Major submarine cable networks connecting Costa Rica

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