Costa Rican regulator Sutel (Superintendencia de Telecomunicaciones) has explained to the country’s Ministry of Science, Technology and Telecommunications (MICITT) that it will not offer compensation for the 5G frequencies that it plans to appropriate from Grupo ICE.
TeleGeography reports that state-backed Grupo ICE provides telecom services branded as Kolbi via a state-allocated spectrum holding. A significant portion of this remains unused or under-utilised, and Sutel plans to requisition these blocks in order to sell them as part of Costa Rica’s 5G spectrum auction.
In a statement regarding reimbursement for these frequencies, Sutel said that it “has documented in 16 technical-legal reports since 2012 the under-use and non-use of the spectrum assigned to Grupo ICE in the frequency bands of 1400MHz, 2600MHz, 3500MHz and 26GHz, which today are essential for the development of 5G technology.”
“As these frequencies are not used or with inefficient use, no compensation would be possible, as established in article 22 of the General Telecommunications Law No. 8642.” Sutel noted that if the frequencies are not sold for 5G use, it could cost the country’s economy as much as US$1.134 billion by 2024.