[reuters] Costa Rica on Monday kicked off the process of opening its cell phone market to private companies, ending the state telecommunications company's more than four-decade monopoly.
The telecommunications regulator, known as Sutel, said it will open up bids in April and hopes to complete the award of the new concessions in the second half of the year.
"We believe that in September, we'll be giving the operators the new concessions," said Sutel's president, George Miley.
Companies interested in bidding include America Movil, Latin America's leading cellphone operator, Spain's Telefonica SA, and privately-held regional mobile operator Digicel, Sutel said in a statement.
Costa Rica to open up mobile phone sector