State backed Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE), which offers services under the ‘Kolbi’ brand, has commercially launched its 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) network, after a recent court ruling upheld the cellco’s right to use its 2600MHz spectrum holdings for the high speed data service. Plans are currently data-only and restricted to pre-paid offerings, although Kolbi expects to make voice services available before the end of the year, as compatible handsets become available for purchase in the country. Three tariffs are currently available, including 1GB, 6GB or 15GB data for CRC3,000, CRC27,000 or CRC48,000 (USD5.9, USD53.1 or USD94.4). The lowest tariff is valid for one day and is limited to download speeds of 6Mbps whilst each of the two larger plans is valid for 30 days and features downlink speeds of up to 10Mbps. For customers that already own a 4G-compatible device, LTE SIMs are available for CRC3,000 and include an extra 1GB of data, whilst new users can purchase a Huawei E3276s 500 datacard with a SIM and 5GB of bonus data for CRC50,000. In terms of coverage, the new network is available throughout the San Jose greater metropolitan area – including parts of Cartago, Herdia and Alajuela – Puntarenas Canton, Limon, Caldera, Miramar, Santiago de Puriscal, Guapiles, Quesada, Guacimo, Cariari, Turrialba, San Marcos, Frailes, Quepos, Herradura, Esterillos Oeste, Parrita Canton, Dominical and San Isidro de El General.
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