Angry Tones

Local telco operators have teamed up, to oppose a possible merger between Sri Lanka Telecom and Lanka Bell.
In a hard-hitting letter, operators endash Celltel, Dialog, Suntel, Hutchison and GoTel Networks endash have protested of an impending monopoly situation, if the merger goes through.rn

rnThe four protesting operators command a subscriber base of over 1.2 mn customers.rn

rnDominant fixed access operator SLT has around 800,000 customers on its network and wireless loop operator Lanka Bell has about 130,000 subscribers. SLT also owns cellular operator Mobitel, which has over 125,000 subscribers.rn

rnldblquote This is the most disturbing turn of events, after SLTs monopoly ended in August 2002 and the governments accelerated plans of liberalising the telecom sector,
dblquote the operators said in a strong worded letter to the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC).rn

rnThough the government sold 12.5 percent of its shares in SLT last year, the operators fear a de facto merger will