April 10, 2009 (LBO) – Dialog Telekom, Sri Lanka’s top celco, has said short-term gains to consumers like lower mobile call rates from intense competition should not be allowed to erode the industry’s long term sustainability. “I feel the entry of new operators is always good for the consumer. It brings out the best in all players in the market,” said Hans Wijayasuriya, chief executive of Dialog Telekom, Sri Lanka’s biggest mobile firm.
“But it is very important for all players to look at long-term investment potential, and long-term returns, and long-term benefit to the consumer,” he told LBO in an interview on the sidelines of a conference on new generation networks in Colombo.
“Some times, in some markets we have seen that short-term benefit to the consumer in terms of prices which are below cost can result in long-term benefit not being delivered.”
Wijayasuriya was responding to a question on the growing competition in the island’s mobile phone market and whether the entry of India’s Bharti Airtel, which has triggered a price war, could cause all players to lose money.
Wijayasuriya is also group chief operating officer, of Malaysia’s TM International, the parent firm of Dialog Telekom.