Country Director, Huawei Consumer Business Group Costa Rica
We have focused on service differentiation in the last year, which has now given us a 30% market share. Our focus from the beginning was to develop three pillars. One of them is to grow a robust network rapidly, and today we are still preparing for new technologies. Recently, we launched our LTE PRO network, which seeks to maximize the spectrum to offer users faster speed and latency, as well as coverage in every part of the country. We now have 83% of the population covered with LTE, a rate only attainable in the UK, Spain, and Germany within the group. Our second pillar was to be innovative, and that is what we are working toward. We want to bring that value proposition to customers. Users in Costa Rica demand more data to consume content. Our Movistar Play offering was launched across Central America, and we had a great response from customers in Costa Rica. Lastly, the most important pillar to set ourselves apart is service.
General Manager, UFINET
The Costa Rican market is a mature one, and around 2015 our industry stopped its rapid growth. Between 2015 and 2017, growth ranged around 2-3%. In 2018, the market actually had a small increase for the first time in three years, and we expect the same for 2019. The penetration level in Costa Rica is high; there are more than 8 million phone lines and a penetration of 1.4 per capita, which means it is difficult to grow in terms of units. However, Costa Ricans are tech savvy and up to speed with new trends, technologies, and product launches. Therefore, they increasingly want models with higher specifications, which gives smartphone brands the opportunity to grow in terms of value by betting on higher-tier phones. To gain market share, the biggest factor is innovation. On average, Costa Ricans change their smartphone every 1.5-2 years, so we need to give customers a good reason to make an investment through new and attractive technologies that actually improve their everyday lives.
CEO, Johanna Escobar Guerra
Since Costa Rica experienced a late economic liberalization, it was able to learn from the mistakes of other countries. Developments that have taken longer elsewhere were faster in Costa Rica. Our challenges include issues with infrastructure, as there are no options to widen the networks. The government is boosting telecommunications, though that has not been made evident in all ministries, such as the finance ministry. We are working with the Ministry of Education, another catalyzer of development for telecommunications. With the finance minister, we have an issue with tariffs. There is an expensive tariff to build the supports for microcells for 4G and 5G, and it is not viable for operators to increase 4G networks. As a whole, around 30% of our networks are located in rural areas; we connect the main cities out of the Great Metropolitan Area (GAM) and have alliances with the cooperatives in San Carlos and Los Santos. This is part of our DNA: bringing fiber optic networks to all operations centers in the country. We now cover 95% of the country.
CEO, Gold Data
We are facing great challenges in managing big data, IoT, and the creation of new products that maximize customer efficiency so that the connectivity we offer through fiber optics generates benefits and cost savings across a range of processes, be they commercial, industrial, or financial. Knowing the behavior of your users means the ability to make decisions and manage the future and present; to give a better service to these clients through connectivity, with big data administration, IoT, and the latest technological possibilities. When it comes to recent lessons learned, we have prepared ourselves to offer connectivity of the highest standard with diverse protection, which means services that never fail and come with a problem-free experience, guaranteed. If one is broadcasting a football event, we guarantee problem-free transmission. We ensure comprehensive protection of energy supply right from international departure at the submarine level to terrestrial protection of the network and final mile to the customer.
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