Cell Call

Jan 05, 2009 (LBO) – The Sri Lanka unit of Bharti Airtel would launch its operations on January 12, the company said, kicking off a media campaign Monday and taking full page advertisements in local newspapers. BOI said the firm has been approved by the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission and planned to start operations by December 2009. Bharti is the fifth operator in the island, after Dialog Telekom, a unit of Telekom Malaysia, Mobitel, a unit of Sri Lanka Telecom, Tigo, a unit of Millicom International Cellular and Hutch, a unit of Hutchison Telecom.

The entry of Airtel Lanka has triggered a price war among local operators who have offered steep discounts and loyalty packages to retain customers.

In another development the Board of Investment, a state investment promotions agency, said on December 29, it was giving concessions to RTEC Mobile Lanka (Private) Ltd, a firm sponsored by Global Electroteks UK.

Electroteks is a group of Sri Lanka origin which already runs a data backbone in the island. BOI said the project envisaged an investment of 100 million US dollars.

The firm will offer GSM and SCDMA based services in mobile and broadband internet.