China Calls

Private fixedline operator Lanka Bell, signed up for a US$ 400 mn equipment deal with China’s Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd, to deploy a low cost rural network. Private fixedline operator Lanka Bell, signed up for a US$ 400 mn equipment deal with China’s Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd, to deploy a low cost rural network. The wireless local loop operator picked up 2.5 Mhz in the 800 Mhz frequency band in March, following a Telecom Ministry directive to allow private fixed line operators to use low cost CDMA (code division multiple access) technology.

By signing up for frequencies, Lanka Bell and its rival Suntel have promised to connect 300,000 phone lines, e-mail and internet facilities over the next three years in rural Sri Lanka.

The deal was inked on Friday by Huawei Technologies’ Sri Lanka Country Representative Allen PengPeng and Lanka Bell’s Deputy Managing Director Suren Goonewardene.

Set up in 1988, Huawei’s CDMA products have been deployed in more than 50 countries by over 70 carriers, including the developed markets of Portugal and the United States, and have been serving 17 mn users across the globe.

Huawei’s customers include Chi