Costa Rican state-owned monopoly operator Grupo ICE has announced that its wireless arm ICE Celular will complete a delayed project to expand its GSM network capacity by 600,000 connections in the fourth quarter of 2005. The rollout is long overdue and much needed since ICE ran out of lines in late 2004. The delay was caused by legal difficulties experienced by ICE relating to contract negotiations that led to the telco blacklisting infrastructure supplier Ericsson from bidding for future equipment contracts. However, Ericsson appealed against the decision and in December 2004 Costa Rica’s constitutional court declared that ICE should honour the USD130 million managed services contract with Ericsson after all. The Swedish vendor will deploy, operate and maintain the national GSM 1800MHz network and will carry out an upgrade to GPRS-capability.
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