October 24th, 2013 (InsideCostaRica.com) Beginning November 30th, cellular phone users in Costa Rica will be able to change providers without changing their phone number, a system known as number portability.
The implementation of number portability is one of the last remaining hurdles in fully opening the telecommunications market in Costa Rica, a process that began two years ago.
The implementation of number portability will likely spark a tough battle between carriers to retain their customers and entice away their competitors’.
The system will become available just as most workers receive their holiday bonuses, or aguinaldos, and as new phones such as the iPhone 5s and 5c hit the local market.
Customers will be able to change carriers up to five times per year, taking their number with them each time.
Eduardo Castellon, a spokesperson for the telecom regulatory, SUTEL, said number portability creates a “clime of true market competition.” Castellon also predicted a barrage of offers and advertising as a result.
SUTEL estimates that some 130,000 numbers will change between carriers in the first year alone.