Arabian Call

Feb 25, 2010 (LBO) – Etisalat’s new Sri Lankan mobile subsidiary said it plans to expand coverage to cover the entire island, offer high speed links and use its international group network to give preferential rates to win customers. “We’re here to stay in Sri Lanka,” Etisalat group chief marketing officer Essa Al Haddad told a news conference held to announce the launch of services under the new brand.

“As investors and telecom service providers we’re here for the long term.”

Etisalat, the United Arab Emirates-based telecom firm, acquired 100 percent of the Sri Lanka operation called Tigo from Millicom International in October 2009 and has renamed it Etisalat Lanka.

The celco is the third-largest mobile telephony operator in Sri Lanka with 2.5 million customers and an estimated market share of around 20 percent.

Etisalat Lanka chief executive Dumindra Ratnayaka said the company will set up more base stations to expand coverage throughout the island, including the north and east which are recovering from a war.

The island’s 30-year ethnic war ended in May 2009, resulting in an economic revival.

Etisalat Lanka has already have set up eight base stations in the north and will launch operations in the no