Costa Rican telecoms monopoly ICE has again delayed the rollout of 200,000 new GSM connections, due to problems in obtaining plots of land for the construction of nine radio towers, according to BNamericas quoting La Nación. The new lines are part of a plan to increase ICE’s GSM network capacity by a total of 600,000 connections. As part of a USD130 million deal agreed in June, Swedish vendor Ericsson was due to finish installing 50 new base stations by 5 September but a progress report at the end of July showed that it had only begun work on a third of the sites. In addition, ICE’s purchase of up to a million SIM cards has been held up by legal problems surrounding two suppliers that participated in the contract tender. Costa Rica completely ran out of mobile connections at the end of 2004 and ICE has sold off several batches of delinquent accounts this year in an attempt to meet pent-up demand.
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