What advantages does Costa Rica offer the telecoms industry in terms of ease of doing business?
FRANCISCO CALVO We take advantage of the capabilities that Law 8660 to Strengthen and Modernize the Public Entities of the Telecommunications Sector allows us in terms of collaboration models. On the other hand, we are re-establishing market research because, after many years, RACSA is once again working on a strategic plan. We are working hard to monitor the environment and identify business opportunities. We have been working on converting RACSA and Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) into main state facilitators to transform Costa Rica into a digital society. We have even held open forums where we convened all 81 municipalities in Costa Rica to discuss and analyze the main aspects for this transformation. We are gathering information on the needs and problems in each of the municipalities and subsequently designing digital solutions that improve the quality of life in our country. We truly want to be the state facilitators of development and the leaders in turning our cities into smart cities. RACSA has done a great deal to help the country. Our citizens have invested over the years in RACSA, ICE, and other government institutions, and now the time has come for these state entities to return the expected benefits to citizens in order to facilitate the economic and social sustainable development of our country.
JUSTO VALLAFARES Many countries have a monopoly in the telecommunications industry, and here, ICE has this monopoly. Companies can be cut off instantly if the monopoly does not integrate with them or give them the permits to use its host to install its fiber; however, in Costa Rica, that has not been the case. In Panama, the situation was completely different with Cable & Wireless, which is aggressive and actively works against our success. Really the only challenge I see in Costa Rica is that a client takes a long time to make a decision and that might be the hardest thing that we have faced. We did our research and discovered that Costa Rica was attracting many data centers and call center companies, its regulatory framework is friendly, there is economic stability, and the rules of the game were clear, which was a breath of fresh air after starting Venezuela.
What are your plans and goals for 2018?
FC We are executing a strategic plan for 2015-2018, where the first stage is to restructure and refocus the company, while the second is to establish sustainable financial stability. The third stage is to seek growth. Finally, we aim to financially strengthen the company's assets and equity. These four stages have been achieved. Therefore, we are currently planning the pathway to make RACSA a successful digital capacities company, which is our vision for 2018-2022. We want to make RACSA a master in all things digital, namely a company that responds to the needs of a fully digitized society. RACSA is a company with 95 years of experience, which has taken Costa Rica down the path of innovation in every technological change the country has experienced since 1921. Despite the challenges, this company has reinvented itself to adapt to the needs of the market and sees the future with the innovative enthusiasm that has characterized it.
How important is Costa Rica to the future of your business?
JV In Latin America, there is a great deal of traffic between countries. It is a global world, and there is a high level of connectivity from here to the US, Europe, and Asia. In the future, we want to position ourselves with clients as the perfect match for their domestic and international connectivity needs. When a multinational corporation needs to connect its offices around the world with Amazon web services, IBM, SAP, Google, or Microsoft 365, it needs a more robust, low latency service, which means a faster service than the internet. We offer our clients this international connectivity to cloud providers, their headquarters, and offices around Costa Rica.