Costa Rica’s incumbent telco ICE expects to launch a supply tender for at least a million GSM lines next year, with a view to having them in place by 2008, according to BNamericas which cites local daily La Prensa. The last tender organised by ICE was plagued by delays as the comptroller questioned ICE’s decision to award the contract to Swedish equipment supplier Ericsson. The USD130 million contract was eventually given to Ericsson in March 2005 and the vendor delivered the lines in December the same year. ICE originally planned to sell half of the lines in 2006, but is reported to have now sold all but 70,000. To help satisfy demand in 2007, the telco has a limited option to expand contracts with previous suppliers, which could see another 300,000 lines being supplied by Ericsson and France’s Alcatel. At the end of August 2006 ICE had a total wireless customer base of 1.5 million.
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