Contraloría stands its ground in cell phone bid process

The Contraloría de la República has rejected arguments by the telecommunications agency and told it to move ahead with providing more information to would-be bidders for frequency.

The agency, the Superintendencia de Telecomuncaciones, argued against the Contraloria’s original order to make certain technical data available to bidders. Several private firms complained to the Contraloría about the lack of technical information in the bid proposal.

The Contraloría found in favor of the companies. It was this decision that the telecom agency protested.

The awarding of cell telephone frequencies has moved from a business deal into the legal realm. The Sala IV has weighed in as did the Contraloría, which approves all major bidding processes.

The private firms want everything spelled out because they fear that the former monopoly, the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad, will be hard to work with once the frequencies are awarded. At stake are three sets of frequencies that will allow a firm to offer its own cell telephone service. But issues of interconnection with the existing system worry bidders.

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