Airtel goes to Sri Lanka

By SiliconIndia   |   Friday, 28 December 2007, 08:00 Hrs
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Colombo: Indian telecom company Bharti Airtel is looking to establish itself as a major player in Sri Lanka's mobile telephony space as the company prepares to launch its $200 million operation here early next year.

Mobile penetration in Sri Lanka is pegged at around 30 percent, with approximately 2 million mobile users being added each year.

"The Airtel's philosophy is to stay beside the consumer and strive to find fresh and innovative ways to add value to their lives," said Amali Nanayakkara, CEO of Airtel Sri Lanka.

Bharti Airtel Lanka, a subsidiary of Bharti Airtel, has already announced plans to launch 2G and 3G services in Sri Lanka by the end of the current financial year (2007-08).

Bharti Airtel has already signed a 150 million dollar deal with China's Huawei Technologies to set up a mobile phone network in Sri Lanka.

"We see substantial growth in Sri Lanka, where the current mobile phone subscriber base is over six million users," Bharti Airtel's Executive Director Sanjay Nandrajog had said last month.

Bharti plans to roll out the network in Sri Lanka over the next three years, covering 70 percent of the tropical island, where it sees potential for growth.

Sri Lanka is estimated to have about 7.3 million fixed line and mobile phone users. About 60 percent of Sri Lanka's mobile market is controlled by Dialog Telekom, a unit of Telecom Malaysia. The rest is shared between Mobitel, a unit of Sri Lanka Telecom, Tigo, part of Millicom International Cellular, and Hutchison Telecom.

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