Highlight: Costa Rica’s telecommunications market

Highlight: Costa Rica’s telecommunications market

Highlight: Costa Rica’s telecommunications market

Liberty Latin America’s entry into the Costa Rican market has elevated competitors for brand new shoppers and led to modifications within the make-up of the nation’s cell phone market. 

Cell phone subscriptions grew 4.29% final 12 months to 7.8mn, based on information from sector regulator Sutel.

Newcomer Liberty, who closed the acquisition of Movistar’s operations in August 2021, elevated its market share from 38.6% in 2020 to 42.3% final 12 months, overtaking state-owned ICE who dropped to second place with 38.6%. Claro (América Móvil) noticed its participation fall by nearly one proportion level and remained third with 19.1%. For its cellular providers, ICE is working beneath the Kölbi model.

Liberty turned the most important internet recipient of shoppers altering operators, with a internet complete of 635,342 new subscriptions since 2013.

“This transformation in market share amongst cellphone operators is as a result of fierce competitors of those corporations to draw new prospects. Because of this, in 2021 alone, 450,000 migrations have been registered,” mentioned Gilbert Camacho Mora, president of Sutel’s board, in a press launch.

Round 65% of the market in Costa Rica is pay as you go and Liberty was primary with a share of 49.6% at end-2021, adopted by ICE with 33.7%.

Within the postpaid section, the state firm ranked first with 47.8%, adopted by Liberty (28.5%) and Claro (23.7%).

This section noticed a rise of seven.5% within the variety of subscriptions in comparison with 2020, whereas the pay as you go section noticed development of two.7%.

By way of revenues, postpaid represented 79.6% of the entire final 12 months, based on figures from ICE.

Investments within the telecommunication sector rose to 0.6% of GDP final 12 months from 0.2% in 2020, Sutel mentioned.


Final 12 months the web section confirmed a drop within the variety of subscriptions for the primary time.

On the finish of 2021, there have been 5.5mn subscriptions, representing a decline of 74,624 strains. 

There have been 4.5mn cellular web accesses on the finish of the 12 months, with Liberty main the pay as you go market with 43.9%, adopted by ICE (40.4%) and Claro (15.7%). In postpaid, ICE got here out on prime with 38.3%, adopted by Liberty (32.2%) and Claro (29.5%).

Mounted broadband accesses totaled 1.05mn on the finish of 2021. Though its share decreased in comparison with 2020, cable modem stays the primary know-how with 629,742 strains. It was adopted by fiber optics with 289,249 strains, greater than double the determine registered in 2020, whereas copper-based accesses amounted to 132,684.

The nation’s put in fiber optics protection grew 5.7% final 12 months to 186,287km.

ICE commanded 29.8% of fastened web, adopted by Cabletica (at present Liberty) with 23.5%, Telecable (19.9%) and Millicom (18.6%).


The telecommunications sector recorded revenues of 728bn colones (US$1.04bn) final 12 months, which represented 2% of GDP.

The cell phone section billed 190bn colones, a lower of seven.2% in comparison with 2020, whereas the fixed-line section noticed a drop of 18.7% to 38.8bn colones.

The web section registered income development of 4.5% to 446bn colones. Of the entire, fastened web made up 43.1% and cellular, 56.8%, with the primary seeing revenues rising 11.8% final 12 months whereas the latter recorded a drop of 0.9%.