First 5G tests for Costa Rica

State-backed green energy specialist Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad has teamed up with the Universidad de Costa Rica to carry out the country’s first 5G tests, reaching 1,000Mbps.

Costa Rica’s telecoms regulator Sutel has recently started a mobile spectrum tender process to cover applications for the bands. In September last year, ICE reached an agreement on the return of spectrum in the 3,400MHz-3,500MHz and 3,600MHz-3,625MHz bands.

The regulator’s telecoms development plan has identified bands to be assigned in 2023 and 2024, including those for 5G including 100MHz in the 3,300-3,400MHz band and 200MHz in the 3,500MHz band.

The demo took place at ICE’s headquarters in San Pedro de Montes de Oca. ICE will keep a portion of spectrum in the 3.5GHz band to offer 5G services and has already received $350m backing from Exim Bank to support the rollout once spectrum has been assigned.

ICE conducted the trials last month to commemorate 30 years since the country's first internet connection in January 1993.

Luis Diego Abarca, ICE telecommunications manager, said: “We are institutions committed to technology and education. With this test, we continue to make progress so that Costa Rica has 5G technology in the short term.”

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