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

Executive summary

Costa Rica sees two operators secure mobile spectrum at 2017 auction

Costa Rica’s liberalised telecom sector has seen substantial growth in all sectors in recent years. Although competition was slow to develop there is now effective competition in all sectors. The state owned operator ICE remains the dominant provider of fixed-line services, while the regional operators Claro and Movistar are significant players in the important mobile services market.

The number of fixed-lines fell for a number of years though more recently 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.

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.

There was a steady increase in overall telecom sector revenue for a number of years, peaking at 24% 2014 though this has since fallen, being a more moderate 3% in 2016. Fixed-line voice services account for about 5% of revenue while revenue from VoIP services, though increasing sharply in recent years, still accounts for only 1%. Total investment by operators has fallen in recent years, from 2.2% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2012 to only 0.7% in 2016. Overall sector revenue has accounted for 3% of GDP in the three years since 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:

  • Regulator concludes multi-spectrum auction, with Movistar and Claro securing licenses; prepares tender for an additional 15 projects funded by Fonatel;
  • ICE investing more in multi-technology NGN project;
  • Coopesantos launches FttP services in areas San Pablo, San Marcos and Santa Maria;
  • Regulator expected to auction 100MHz of spectrum in the 700MHz band by late 2018;
  • Telefónica launches OTT Movistar Play service;
  • Regulator determines that there is sufficient competition in several telecom market segments;
  • Master Plan for DTT adopted, with analogue broadcasts to close in December 2017;
  • ICE unifies its two pay-TV operations under a single brand;
  • Sutel adopts LRIC model to calculate access and interconnection rates;
  • Report includes the regulator’s market data reports to 2016; telcos’ financial and operating data updates to Q2 2017, recent market developments.
  • Companies mentioned in this report include:

Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE), RASCA, Tigo, Cable Tica.

Table of Contents

  • 1. Executive summary
  • 2. Key statistics
  • 3. Country overview
  • 4. Telecommunications market
    • 4.1 Market analysis – latest developments
  • 5. Regulatory environment
    • 5.1 Background
      • 5.1.1 General Telecommunications Law
    • 5.2 Regulatory authority
      • 5.2.1 Sutel
    • 5.3 Government policies
      • 5.3.1 Sector liberalisation
    • 5.4 Universalisation fund (Fonatel)
    • 5.5 Interconnect
    • 5.6 Access
    • 5.7 Number Portability (NP)
    • 5.8 Tariffs
    • 5.9 DR-CAFTA
  • 6. Fixed network operators
    • 6.1 ICE
    • 6.2 Claro
  • 7. Telecommunications infrastructure
    • 7.1 National telecom network
    • 7.2 Internet Exchange Points (IXPs)
  • 8. International infrastructure
    • 8.1 Interconnection with other Central American countries
    • 8.2 Submarine cable networks
    • 8.3 Satellite networks
    • 8.4 Infrastructure developments
      • 8.4.1 IP and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
    • 8.5 Smart infrastructure
  • 9. Wholesale
  • 10. Broadband market
    • 10.1 Introduction and statistical overview
      • 10.1.1 Market analysis
      • 10.1.2 Broadband statistics
    • 10.2 Hybrid Fibre Coax (HFC) networks
      • 10.2.1 RACSA
    • 10.3 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) networks
    • 10.4 Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP) and Fibre-To-The-Home (FttH)
    • 10.5 Other fixed-line broadband services
      • 10.5.1 Fixed wireless (WiMAX, WiBro, Wi-Fi)
      • 10.5.2 Internet via satellite
    • 10.6 Digital Media
      • 10.6.1 Introduction
      • 10.6.2 Cable TV
      • 10.6.3 Satellite-based digital pay TV developments
      • 10.6.4 Digital Terrestrial TV (DTTV)
      • 10.6.5 Key digital media players
      • 10.6.6 Videostreaming
  • 11. Mobile communications
    • 11.1 Market analysis – latest developments
      • 11.1.1 Mobile statistics
    • 11.2 Mobile data
      • 11.2.1 SMS/MMS
    • 11.3 Mobile broadband
    • 11.4 Regulatory issues
      • 11.4.1 Spectrum auctions
      • 11.4.2 Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
      • 11.4.3 Roaming
    • 11.5 Mobile infrastructure
      • 11.5.1 Overview
      • 11.5.2 Digital networks
    • 11.6 Major mobile operators
      • 11.6.1 ICE (Kölbi, ICE Cellular)
      • 11.6.2 Claro (América Móvil)
      • 11.6.3 Movistar (Telefónica Costa Rica)
      • 11.6.4 Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs)
  • 12. Related reports
  • Table 1 – Country statistics Costa Rica – 2017 (e)
  • Table 2 – Telephone network statistics – 2017 (e)
  • Table 3 – Internet user statistics – 2017 (e)
  • Table 4 – Broadband statistics – 2017 (e)
  • Table 5 – Mobile statistics – 2017 (e)
  • Table 6 – National telecommunications authority
  • Table 7 – Evolution of GDP in Costa Rica – 2000 - 2017
  • Table 8 – Number of authorised telecom service operators – 2011 - 2016
  • Table 9 – Telecom sector revenue and annual change– 2011 - 2016
  • Table 10 – Revenue by sector – 2012 - 2016
  • Table 11 – Revenue market share by sector – 2012 - 2016
  • 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 - 2018
  • Table 15 – PSTN lines – 2010 - 2016
  • Table 16 – Proportion of traditional fixed and VoIP lines – 2012 - 2016
  • Table 17 – Fixed-line telephony revenue – 2012 - 2016
  • Table 18 – Fixed-line telephony and VoIP ARPU – 2012 - 2016
  • Table 19 – Fixed-line telephony and VoIP traffic – 2010 - 2016
  • Table 20 – Average telephony traffic per subscriber (fixed-line and VoIP) – 2010 - 2016
  • Table 21 –International bandwidth – 2007 - 2016
  • Table 22 – Active VoIP subscriptions and penetration – 2010 - 2016
  • Table 23 –VoIP market share by operator – 2013 - 2016
  • Table 24 – VoIP services revenue– 2011 - 2016
  • Table 25 – Fixed-line broadband revenue and ARPU – 2011 - 2016
  • Table 26 – Proportion of fixed internet connections by data rate - 2015 - 2016
  • Table 27 – Historic - Internet users and user penetration – 1997 - 2010
  • Table 28 – Internet users and user penetration – 2010 - 2016
  • Table 29 – Fixed broadband subscribers and penetration – 2000 - 2018
  • Table 30 – Historic - Broadband market share by technology – 2000 – 2009
  • Table 31 –Fixed-line broadband market share by technology – 2015 – 2016
  • Table 32 – Fixed-line internet traffic – 2013 - 2016
  • Table 33 – Cable modem subscribers and household penetration – 2000 - 2017
  • Table 34 – DSL subscribers and household penetration – 2002 - 2017
  • Table 35 – Fibre broadband subscribers – 2010 - 2016
  • Table 36 – WiMAX subscribers – 2009 - 2016
  • Table 37 – Subscription TV subscribers and penetration - 2010 - 2016
  • Table 38 – Subscription TV share by platform – 2010 - 2016
  • Table 39 – Subscription TV subscribers by platform – 2012 - 2016
  • Table 40 – Subscription TV revenue by platform- 2011 - 2016
  • Table 41 – Cable TV subscribers and revenue - 2010 - 2016
  • Table 42 – Satellite TV subscribers and revenue - 2010 - 2016
  • Table 43 – DTTV subscribers - 2010 - 2016
  • Table 44 – IPTV subscribers - 2011 - 2016
  • Table 45 – Average traffic per mobile subscriber - 2011 - 2016
  • Table 46 – Mobile market share by operator - 2011 - 2016
  • Table 47 – Mobile market traffic - 2011 - 2016
  • Table 48 –Mobile revenue by service - 2012 - 2016
  • Table 49 –Proportion of mobile service revenue by type - 2011 - 2016
  • Table 50 – Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration - 1998 - 2009
  • Table 51 – Mobile subscribers and penetration - 2010 - 2018
  • Table 52 – Proportion of prepaid and postpaid subscribers - 2010 - 2016
  • Table 53 – Prepaid and contract subscribers - 2010 - 2016
  • Table 54 – Prepaid and contract mobile ARPU - 2014 - 2016
  • Table 55 – SMS and MMS traffic - 2011 - 2016
  • Table 56 – SMS/MMS revenue - 2011 - 2016
  • Table 57 – Mobile internet subscribers and penetration - 2009 - 2016
  • Table 58 – Mobile internet revenue - 2013 - 2016
  • Table 59 – Mobile internet traffic - 2013 - 2016
  • Table 60 – Mobile number portings - 2014 - 2016
  • Table 61 – Roaming revenue (SMS/MMS and voice) - 2013 - 2016
  • Table 62 – ICE mobile subscribers - 2012 - 2016
  • Table 63 – Claro mobile subscribers - 2012 - 2016
  • Table 64 – Movistar mobile subscribers - 2012 - 2016
  • Table 65 – MVNO mobile subscribers by provider - 2011 - 2016
  • Chart 1 – ICE financial data – 2010 – 2014
  • Chart 2 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 2005 – 2018
  • Chart 3 – Broadband subscribers and penetration – 2000 – 2018
  • Chart 4 – Cable modem subscribers and household penetration – 2000 – 2017
  • Chart 5 – DSL subscribers and household penetration – 2002 – 2017
  • Chart 6 – Mobile subscribers and penetration - 2005 – 2018
  • Chart 7 – Prepaid and contract subscribers - 2010 – 2016
  • Exhibit 1 – Major submarine cable networks connecting Costa Rica

Related Reports

Purchase this Report

US$550.00

Licence Information

Share this Report

Purchase with Confidence

Moreover, the customer service personnel at BuddeComm helped me remedy an administrative problem within 5 minutes of sending the request...seriously, less than 5 minutes. All in all, Budde.com is a well-functioning organization with a useful product.

Eli Jellenc, VeriSign-iDefense Security Intelligence Services

Special Offers

Global Smart Infrastructure - Paving the Way for Smart Nations
US$795.00 until 20 Dec 2017
(normal price US$1,590.00)

Global Telecoms Trends in 2018 - Broadband Infrastructure, IoT, Video-Streaming and Smart Cities
US$795.00 until 20 Dec 2017
(normal price US$1,590.00)

Indonesia - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Digital Media - Statistics and Analyses
US$575.00 until 13 Dec 2017
(normal price US$1,150.00)

Hong Kong - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Digital Media - Statistics and Analyses
US$575.00 until 13 Dec 2017
(normal price US$1,150.00)

Sample Reports

A selection of downloadable samples from our Annual Publications catalogue.


Download a Sample Report

More than 4,000 customers from 140 countries utilise BuddeComm Research

Are you interested in BuddeComm's Custom Research Service?

News & Views

Have the latest telecommunications industry news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to Paul's FREE weekly News & Views.