Costa Rican regulator Sutel (Superintendencia de Telecomunicaciones) has called on the government to help it regain control over unused 2.6GHz spectrum holdings, which it claims are “vital for the development of 5G in Costa Rica.”
Earlier this year, the government of Costa Rica successfully recovered unused 5G-capable 3500MHz spectrum from state utility firm Grupo ICE, with the country’s president Rodrigo Chaves Robles signing an agreement in early September to procure ICE’s airwaves.
The Ministry of Science, Innovation, Technology and Telecommunications (MICITT) had previously issued the spectrum to Grupo ICE’s subsidiary RACSA (Radiografica Costarricense SA). The ministry argued that the group’s failure to utilise the spectrum was in breach of the country’s telecom laws, and that it must therefore return the spectrum to the state.
Sutel Council President Gilbert Camacho Mora said: “The Executive Branch must continue with the immediate actions necessary to recover these resources, because they have the technical and legal criteria to move forward. A further delay in the arrival of 5G in the country means a loss of competitiveness and loss of investment in the country, as well as a limitation to the benefits that users could receive from these technologies.”
TeleGeography reports that Grupo ICE has been accused of failing to utilise spectrum holdings in the 1400MHz and 26GHz bands as well as the 2.6GHz and 3.5GHz bands.