Phone regulator says it is checking quality of connections

The Superintendencia de Telecomunicaciones said it is checking on the quality of telephone service in every province of the country.

The agency made the announcement after several weeks of complaints by cell telephone customers. However, the agency said it has been checking on the quality of Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad service since the beginning of the year.

Lately customers have been facing dropped calls, the failure to get a dial tone and problems with the quality of the lines.

Regulations contain quality requirements, and the agency is seeing if the Instituto de Electricidad, still the only phone company, is living up to the requirements. The quality surveys include all three types of cell phones, TDMA,
GSM and 3G, even though the TDMA will soon go out of service.

Telephone customers can make reports to the company and then make a report to the Superintendencia if there is no effort in 10 days to remedy the problem.

Many of the GSM lines were those installed by Alcatel, a company whose executives here admitting paying $14 million in bribes to Costa Rican officials to get the contract.

The trial of former president Miguel Ángel Rodríguez and others is in the final stages. Prosecutors allege that he was among the bribe recipients.

Alcatel was awarded the mobile telephone contract in August 2001, which was valued at $149 million. The institute has migrated some customers from the Alcatel system.

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