Itellum's Cielo Clears New User Milestone, Shakes up Costa Rican Telecom
One of the biggest new forces in the Costa Rican telecom market is Cielo, a complete applications platform for unified communications (UC) operations from Itellum. It's recently cleared an important milestone for the region, reaching 12,000 users, and it's also posing a major new challenge to other telecom operations in the region.
Users get a local Costa Rican telephone number, and users are actually allowed to pre-register a number with Itellum in advance for number portability later on. There are three subscription plans ranging from an option that allows unlimited calling to the United States and Canada, one that allows unlimited calling within Costa Rica, and one that allows unlimited calling to all three regions for one price.
Itellum's CEO and co-founder Tim Foss commented “Cielo is much more than a calling app. It is the first truly ‘unified communications' mobile social networking portal that connects users in Costa Rica to the rest of the world. Cielo is the only telecom application platform that seamlessly integrates web services, an encrypted chat function, group communications with file sharing capabilities and videoconferencing, as well as the first and only unlimited calling plans offered locally.”
This would be good by itself, but Itellum has plans to expand still further, extending into Central America and father into South America and even into the Baltic regions, a development that Itellum is actively seeking new relationships to further in both operations and finances.
The basic concept behind Cielo speaks for itself. It offers more than its competitors and it does so at a comparable price. When anyone can offer a premium good for a price that's approximately the same as the competition's, it leaves very little left in the way of value propositions left for other competitors to use. Competitors must either improve on Cielo—perhaps on ease of use or some function left unconsidered—or must beat it on price to have any hope of competing. Otherwise, only inertia will be left as a driver to hold the current customer base, and Cielo's value proposition is so strong that it may not even be possible to count on inertia holding it all together.
In the end, it's easy to see why Cielo is one of the biggest names in Costa Rican telecom, and why an expansion effort likely won't be out of line. If it can carry that value elsewhere, it's likely to dominate other markets as well.
Edited by Maurice Nagle