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    New phone service available to Costa Rica

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    By: Lance Harrell

    The Costa Rican company Intertel is planning on releasing IP calling cards for travelers, to compete with ICE roaming service and other cellular companies entering the market.

    The card is called the Traveler, with which users can call to Costa Rica or any other country when they travel.

    Federico Guardia, president of Intertel, explained that the card gives the traveler a phone number and password to make calls from 11 countries; United States, Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Panama, Colombia, Peru, Brazil, Argentina and Chile with IP (Internet Protocol).

    The benefit of the card is that the user will know the price in advance, so with a card purchased in Costa Rica, the user can pick up a phone in a foreign city, use it and not be subjected to unexpected high rates.

    Guard said that a major advantage over ICE is price, as a user can make calls from the U.S. to Costa Rica for $0.33/min. A major step up from the $3.66/min and $150 deposit required by the ICE service.

    Users have the additional advantage that they can receive calls from Costa Rica and from the country you visit as well.

    The cards will come in two main varieties, $20 refillable cards and $10 disposable cards they are slated to reach the market later this month.

    Intertel is also negotiating a deal with ICE to give more convenience to the international calling service for IP in Costa Rica.

    Previously, the company had only offered cards that work from public phones located in supermarkets. However, now the idea is to pay a toll to the Institute so that the service can be enabled from any phone.

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