Broadband Battle

May 06, 2011 (LBO) – The Sri Lanka unit of UAE-based Etisalat has commissioned a high-speed 3.75G wireless network enabling mobile broadband customers very fast Internet access, video calls and games, and mobile television. Etisalat chief executive Dumindra Ratnayaka said potential to grow was wide with the island’s Internet penetration being only about 8.0 percent although telephone density of 100.8 lines per 100 persons shows fixed and mobile connections had overtaken the population.

The network allows theoretical maximum download speeds of up to 42 Mbps (megabits per second) with ‘dual carrier technology’ using two carrier waves, both on the transmitter and receiver, although mobile devices in the market can handle only half that speed.

“When we did this big investment we also said we needed to see why the Internet penetration in this country is not growing, why the Internet penetration is only 8.0 percent,” Ratnayaka told a news conference.

“We did a lot of research and that research showed us a lot interesting points and facts and we decided to come up with a solution that will assist the needs of the consumer.”

Ratnayaka said mobile devices available in the local market can only handle speeds of