Phone TV & Internet
Updated: February, 6th 2012 (02/06/2012)
Provider: ICE - www.grupoice.com: You must be a citizen or legal resident to contract phone service. There is a small minimum fee per month and all incoming calls are free, outgoing calls are charged per minuite and are more expensive when calling cell phones and during peak hours.
Cell Phone Service
Costa Rica's cell phone network uses the 1800Mhz band and has currently about 80% coverage of the country.
If you are looking for cell phone service while traveling in Costa Rica, the best option is to rent a cell phone from your car rental company (some even include one for free) or purchase a prepaid sim card (see below for purchase locations) that can be used in any UNLOCKED cell phone that supports the 1800Mhz band, Including the iPhone and many modern phones. But the phone must be unlocked, meaning it is not locked to any specific service provider. You can buy unlocked cell phones online or unlock your personal phone if you can get the unlock code from your service provider or otherwise know how. There is a lot of information about unlocking cell phones online and many cell phone repair shops provide this service also. *Warning, the method for unlocking a phone is different for each model and can dammage your phone if done incorrectly.
ICE / Kolbi - http://www.grupoice.com/wps/portal/kolbi: Costa Rica's official department of communications and electricity, offering cell phones and service "pay per minuite" and prepaid.
You can buy prepaid sim cards at the Costa Rica SJO Airport in Alajuela or find a list of other locations here: http://www.grupoice.com/wps/portal/kolbi_prepago_recargas_Puntos_de_venta_y_lugares_de_recarga
Costa Rica has now opened the cell phone market to other providers including:
Claro - http://www.claro.cr/portal/cr/
Movistar - http://movistar.cr/
Tuyo - http://www.tuyomovil.com
Full Movil - http://www.fullmovil.cr/
Internet Cafe's are very popular and can be found just about anywhere. Even the smallest towns have at least one. the prices and speeds vary but its always less expensive and faster in San Jose, and more populated areas. Most hotels and many restaurants offer free internet service. See the hotel and restaurant sections to find other places that offer internet service.
TV Cable / Satellite Service
There are several cable Companies to choose from depending on your location including
ICE provides a variety of internet solutions for home and office ranging from dial-up to high speed connections. We in the past have used their 2mbps connection at about $40 per month. It is adsl so you have to have a land-line phone as well.
Many of the cable companies provide cable internet with the fastest and most reliable connections. We currently use the 5mb service with Amnet and are very satisfied. It is not available everywhere though. We have also used Cable Tica, but it may not be as reliable depending on your location, and because it relies on the RACSA back-bone. The Cable Tica internet is a partnership with RACSA so you get 2 bills part from Cable Tica and the rest from RACSA. Cable Tica also does not require you to be a resident.
ICE now offers several options for internet via their mobile network.
- One option is a usb modem that is the size of a jump drive and contains a SIM card. It can reach speeds up to 1mbps anywhere within cell range.
- It is also possible to connect an ICE cell phone to your computer and access the internet for an additional $7.00 per month on your cell phone bill, and its unlimited access. With a 3g cell phone you can reach up to 1mbps.
- As of May 15th 2010 prices for internet via cell phone start at $7 for 128k (limited) and up to $25 for 1mbps (unlimited) on a 3G phone. And can still be connected to a computer.
There is also a division of ICE called RACSA that provides some varriations of the ICE services:
** Be aware: there are several companies selling satellite internet, but connection is unreliable and according to ICE it is illegal. (as ICE is a government intity)