ICE’s “unlimited” 3G/4G Internet is not so unlimited

April 2nd, 2014 (InsideCostaRica.com) ICE’s Kolbi 3G and 4G “unlimited” data plans are not “unlimited” after all, the company is warning users.

While the company’s post-pay mobile Internet service is marketed as “unlimited” in terms of download capacity, the company is warning that those who download more than 6 Gigabytes (GB) of data per month will face restrictions, calling such usage “excessive.”  ICE terminated unlimited downloads for prepaid customers last year.

The company warns those who exceed the limit face having their download speed limited to 128kbps – or one-tenth of one megabyte – regardless of their contracted speed.

The company says just 2% of its postpaid customers exceed the 6GB/month limit, and such “excessive” use “affects the service quality for other users.”  ICE says its average user downloads just over 1 GB per month.

While telecom regulator, SUTEL, does not have defined regulation on what constitutes “excessive” Internet use, ICE seems to point to regulations stating “The operator or supplier may disconnect service without liability when the client uses the telecommunications service in a way that causes alterations in the normal operation of the network and/or degrades the quality of service.”

The download limit is likely to affect many people living in remote or rural areas of Costa Rica who rely on 3G service as their primary and only Internet connection, due to the lack of cable or DSL availability.  Watching just 6 or 7 feature-length movies on Netflix, for example, could consume a user’s entire 6GB limit.

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  • El Torito

    “The download limit is likely to affect many people living in remote or rural areas of Costa Rica who rely on 3G service as their primary and only Internet connection,” HA! We are such rural dwellers and downloading ANYTHING is a challenge at best. Even though we are paying for high speed ‘service’, the system only functions reasonably well between midnight and 6:00 a.m. After 9:00 a.m., it becomes incredibly sluggish and by noon, forget it! The system grew even more constipated once the kids were out of school in December and improved somewhat when they returned to school in February. I am typing this at 3:00 a.m. I have to make it a nightly routine to get up for an hour or two to check & send emails, do banking, read the news, etc. Once Claro offers internet connection in this area, we plan to declare frustration of contract and dump ICE for Claro.