Getting Started

Telephone providers in Costa Rica

Costa Rica has a relatively modern telecommunications infrastructure.

Getting Started

In 2011, the government monopoly of the ICE Group (Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad) came to an end and new companies were allowed to work in Costa Rican telecommunications. Now, everything related to telephones or Internet from the ICE Group is under the name of Kölbi. The most important companies for mobile Internet and mobile phones are Kölbi, Claro Costa Rica, Movistar or TúYo Móvil. 

ICE does not sell land lines or cell phones with a contract (postpago) to non-residents. If you are a resident, you have long waiting hours ahead of you. Installing the line takes between 15 and 22 days but ICE does not give you the phone, you have to buy it. In January 2013, installing a line cost 20,295 colones, with a guarantee deposit of 9,000 colones. The price per minute in full pricing (7 a.m. to 7 p.m.) is 4.63 colones; reduced pricing, from 7 p.m. is half that price. 

In order to get a fixed line installed you need to provide the following:

  • Proof that you do not owe money
  • Documentation proving your legal address
  • Residency card or document proving you're legally in the country
  • Passport or cédula number
  • Complete address of where the telephone line has to be installed
  • Electric meter number where the telephone will be installed

You can pay the installation of your line through these banks: BCR, BNCR; BCAC, Scotiabank, Promerica, BAC San José, Citibank, HSBC, Improsa.

This is the website for Kölbi in ICE Group, where you can find all the information for land phones, cell phones and internet: www.grupoice.com/wps/portal/kolbi 

In 2011, the government monopoly of the ICE Group (Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad) came to an end and new companies were allowed to work in Costa Rican telecommunications. Now, everything related to telephones or Internet from the ICE Group is under the name of Kölbi. The most important companies for mobile Internet and mobile phones are Kölbi, Claro Costa Rica, Movistar or TúYo Móvil. 

ICE does not sell land lines or cell phones with a contract (postpago) to non-residents. If you are a resident, you have long waiting hours ahead of you. Installing the line takes between 15 and 22 days but ICE does not give you the phone, you have to buy it. In January 2013, installing a line cost 20,295 colones, with a guarantee deposit of 9,000 colones. The price per minute in full pricing (7 a.m. to 7 p.m.) is 4.63 colones; reduced pricing, from 7 p.m. is half that price. 

In order to get a fixed line installed you need to provide the following:

  • Proof that you do not owe money
  • Documentation proving your legal address
  • Residency card or document proving you're legally in the country
  • Passport or cédula number
  • Complete address of where the telephone line has to be installed
  • Electric meter number where the telephone will be installed

You can pay the installation of your line through these banks: BCR, BNCR; BCAC, Scotiabank, Promerica, BAC San José, Citibank, HSBC, Improsa.

This is the website for Kölbi in ICE Group, where you can find all the information for land phones, cell phones and internet: www.grupoice.com/wps/portal/kolbi 

Further reading

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Other comments

  • cj conrad, 03 September 2008 Reply

    Phone Line

    Since Feb. 2007 if you are not a card holding citizen of Costa Rica you cannot get a phone line in your own name. You can get the line if a Costa Rican will sign for you. THat is you get the phone line but it is not in your name but you pay the bill.