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jstern (Offline)
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Default Costa Rica - Prepaid Data SIM? - 23-02-2012, 21:55

I'm going to Costa Rica and I really can't find good info about the state of data down there. I have a Mifi and I don't really need voice (if I do I can Skype through the Mifi).

Has anyone ever purchased a prepaid data SIM, potentially from ICE in the airport in San Jose?
   
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DRNewcomb (Offline)
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Default 24-02-2012, 02:19

Last time I looked into C.R. wireless, they had introduced prepaid but it was d*am near impossible for a non-resident to get a prepaid SIM. It looks like ICE is really pushing their 3G-850 service. For ˘4500 you get 1 Mbps service for 15 days. (klbi | Planes y precios) It appears you now just need your passport to get service. That's a step forward. So take your passport and a phone that has WCDMA-850 and let us know how it worked out.
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jstern (Offline)
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Default 09-03-2012, 23:57

Great! Nice find!

If I read it right, I just have to put in "kolbi3g" as my APN.

The time costs about $9US, but I guess there may be a card cost also.

Anyone know if I can pick up a Kolbi card at the ICE in the airport?
   
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DRNewcomb (Offline)
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Default 10-03-2012, 00:32

Looking at their list of vendors, if you look down at "Alajuela" you will see "Aeropuerto Internacional Juan Santa María", "Lunes a Domingo 5:00am - 10:00 pm." As long as you arrive within those hours, you should have a good chance. OTOH, it is Central America.

One thing you might want to consider. ICE seems really big into "homologation" of handsets. You might also want to make sure that you take a handset you can show them that will pass muster. I have no experience to say that they would reject you if you don't produce a handset they say is OK but it would be a pain to get there and have them say "no" because of that.

Last edited by DRNewcomb; 10-03-2012 at 00:40..
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jstern (Offline)
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Default 11-05-2012, 18:32

OK - and the answer is, it worked! No problem!

$5 US. The woman at the ICE/Kolbi counter in the airport (before customs/immigration) tried her personal SIM in my Mifi first to be sure it would work, then sold me one, and gave me instructions.

The whole thing was pretty quick and easy.

The only issue was the speed - 2G. While I was very happy for the access, the speed made a lot of surfing tough, and the coverage wasn't great either. But, considering the spotty hotel access, this filled in the gaps pretty well.
   
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DRNewcomb (Offline)
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Default 11-05-2012, 18:50

Excellent news. Costa Rica has come a long way. Their government-owned telephone/power monopoly has not been the quickest to react to business demand. With all the tourist business, you'd think that they would have been very quick to adopt temporary prepaid but that was not the case. It's good to see that they have now moved into the "relatively easy" column. Thanks for the report.
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jstern (Offline)
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Default 11-05-2012, 18:55

I should have added that, I think, my $5US was for a week of unlimited access, but that I'm pretty sure I went over into the eighth day technically, and I didn't get cut off.
   
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VladS (Offline)
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Default 11-05-2012, 19:09

Quote:
Originally Posted by jstern View Post
OK - and the answer is, it worked! No problem!

$5 US. The woman at the ICE/Kolbi counter in the airport (before customs/immigration) tried her personal SIM in my Mifi first to be sure it would work, then sold me one, and gave me instructions.

The whole thing was pretty quick and easy.

The only issue was the speed - 2G. While I was very happy for the access, the speed made a lot of surfing tough, and the coverage wasn't great either. But, considering the spotty hotel access, this filled in the gaps pretty well.
kolbi Internet Prepago semana (7 days) is capped at 512kbps. Get the quince (15 days) option and the speed goes up to 1024kbps. The 15 day option costs ~ $9.


VladS
Mobile phones: iPhone 5, Blackberry 9900, Nexus S, Samsung S3322 duos
Mobile data cards: Huawei E587u-5, Huawei E583c, Huawei E160
Postpaid SIMs: CA: Fido, Wind; INTL: Telna
Prepaid SIMs: DE: Fonic, Lidl; AT: yesss!, bob; UK: O2; US: AT&T; RO: Orange, Vodafone; FR: b&you, Lycamobile; NL: Lycamobile; BE: Lycamobile, Jim Mobile; CL: Entel; MX: Telcel; INTL: eKit Blue, eKit Yellow
Dead SIMs: too many to list
   
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garyMD (Offline)
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Default 17-10-2012, 15:31

Just to resurrect this thread...

I will be assigned in Costa Rica for a couple of months and being a sea farer I would need a micro SIM for my 4S...

Does ICE have micro SIM cards now???

Also, does Panama have too and have 3G data???

Sorry for sounding very ignorant about these countries...
   
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kctopitz (Offline)
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Default 14-10-2013, 12:05

For others looking at prepaid data in Costa Rica, here's Kolbi's page with prepaid internet packages.

I looked briefly at the competition (Claro and Movistar) and neither of them offer 4GB of data for 30 days at that price (9000 Costa Rican = $17 USD). Claro does offer 2GB for 30 days at twice the speed (4Mbps instead of 2Mbps) for 10,000 Colón, if speed is more important to you.

Given that Kolbi's subscriber base is much larger (83% based on these numbers) I'm assuming they have the best coverage.
   
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