Posted by: Idioma Extra | August 3, 2010

Tuesday’s News

Municipalities In Costa Rica To Cash In On Opening Of Mobile Telecommunications Market


Municipalities in Costa Rica are looking to cash in on the opening of the telecommunications market by charging operators a tax or license fee to erect and maintain radio towers. This would be the first time that municipalities would be allowed some control on the location of the radio base towers and a new source of revenue.

The change comes with the move forward in the opening of Costa Rica’s mobile telecommunications market with the expected three new operators to be approved to operate separate cellular networks later this year.

In addition to the license fee, mobile operators will also have to pay for building permits to erect the towers.

The tax or license fee would also apply to the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE) – the state telecom – that currently has more than 1.100 towers and without paying a “colon” to any municipality.

The Superintendencia de Telecomunicaciones (Sutel) will begin the bidding process for three operators in addition to ICE later this month and it will be up to the Sutel to allow or not allow municipalities to charge for the towers.

Of course, the cost of any tax, license fee and/or permit will end up being passed on to the end user, which will undoubtedly increase cellular telephone costs in Costa Rica.

Compared to most other countries, Costa Rica’s cellular use is inexpensive.

The basic rate for a TDMA, GSM or 3G line is ¢4.000 colones or us$8 per month that includes 60 minutes of call time (no charge is made for incoming calls). Additional minutes run as high as ¢35 colones at peak times, much less evenings and weekends. And, users of 3G data services pay a maximum of ¢15.000 colones or us$30 per month for the maximum connection speed and unlimited data transfer. Those costs are pale compared to US and Canada and other Latin countries where the same service runs to us$75 or more per month.

The initiative is part of the proposal by the Federación Metropolitana de Municipalidades de San José (Femetrom) that brings together the Central Government and more than 35 local municipalities.

The president of Femetrom and mayor of Montes de Oca (San Pedro), Fernando Trejos, says that municipalities are within their right to charge for the radio towers, as this is a “commercial” activity for the operators.

Some of the private operators do not see a problem with paying a tax or license fee for the towers. But, that may be another thing with ICE.

A meeting later this month is scheduled for talks on the subject with ICE president, Eduardo Doryan.

The Sutel has yet to define how many radio towers will be required and it will require companies to share towers. George Miley, president of the Sutel, says that 90% of the towers could be shared by the various operators.

Miley added that the majority of those companies interested in setting up shop in Costa Rica have expressed an interest in sharing with their competitors.

If that were to be case, experts conclude that some 2.000 towers are needed or 900 more than what ICE has already installed to fully cover the country.

Word of the Day

Main Entry: 1bid
Pronunciation: \ˈbid\
Function: verb
Inflected Form(s): bade \ˈbad, ˈbād\ or bidbid·den\ˈbi-dən\ or bid alsobadebid·ding
Etymology: partly from Middle English bidden, from Old English biddan; akin to Old High German bitten to entreat, and perhaps to Sanskrit bādhate he presses; partly from Middle English beden to offer, command, from Old English bēodan; akin to Old High Germanbiotan to offer, Greek pynthanesthai to examine, Sanskrit bodhi enlightenment
Date: before 12th century
transitive verb1 a obsolete : beseechentreat b : to issue an order to : tell <did as I was bidc : to request to come : invite
2 : to give expression to <bade a tearful farewell>
3 a : offer —usually used in the phrase to bid defiance b past and past part bid (1) : to offer (a price) whether for payment or acceptance (2) : to make a bid of or in (a suit at cards)intransitive verb: to make a bid
synonyms see command
— bid·der noun
— bid fair : to seem likely <a movie that bids fair to become a big hit>

More Vocabulary

Erect: v. to build; construct
Inexpensive: adj. not expensive; not high in price; costing little
Network: n. a system containing any combination of computer, computer terminals, printers, audio or visual display devices, or telephones interconnected by telecommunication equipment or cables
Tower: n. a building or structure typically higher than its diameter and high relative to its surroundings that may stand apart (as a campanile) or be attached (as a church belfry) to a larger structure and that may be fully walled in or of skeleton framework (as an observation or transmission tower)
Transfer: v. Copying or moving data from one place to another, typically via some kind of network or local data connection

Love those Phrasal Verbs!

Cash in on: benefit or make money on something

  • Once the company takes off, we will be able to cash in on all our hard work.

End up: become or do something unplanned

  • The Executive Director wanted us to attend a seminar on leadership and team group building, but we ended up at a social networks convention.

Set up: start a company

  • Will the new telecommunications companies, set up their offices in or around the San José area?

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