China Calls

China’s ZTE Corporation clinched a Rs. 1.5 billion deal to deploy a low cost wireless technology system for Sri Lanka Telecom. China’s ZTE Corporation clinched a Rs. 1.5 billion deal to deploy a low cost wireless technology system for Sri Lanka Telecom. CDMA or code division multiple access, is a cheaper form of mobile technology that is being adapted by fixedline carriers worldwide to provide telephony services to rural hamlets.

Sri Lanka Telecom, which is currently using expensive copper technology, wants to use the new CDMA network to clear some 300,000 customers presently sitting on its waiting list.

“By the end of this year, we hope to launch our CDMA service. With that we can connect people through CDMA, GSM (through its cellular subsidiary Mobitel) and copper cables wherever needed,” SLT’s Chief Executive Shuhei Anan said during the signing ceremony late Sunday.

SLT, which controls around 85 percent of Sri Lanka’s fixeline market, will use CDMA to connect 150,000 customers in the first year and scale it up to 450,000 subscribers within three-years.

During the initial phase, some 6,000 SLT subscribers cu