Crowded Booth

Industry watchers say up to ten fixed line phone operators could be battling it out for a piece of Sri Lankan telecom market by 2006. Industry watchers say up to ten fixed line phone operators could be battling it out for a piece of Sri Lankan telecom market by 2006. In addition to Suntel, Lanka Bell and Sri Lanka Telecom, the Telecom Minister in September cleared payphone service provider Tritel for a CDMA (code division multiple access) license to set up its own infrastructure.

At least three more CDMA licenses are reportedly in the pipeline, including the memorandum of understanding signed with Lanka Internet to set up a telco network.

Another two rural telecom licenses are also on offer through the ICT Agency as part of a national programme to broad-base information access and to decentralise citizen service.

End of an Era

The liberalisation process also will bring Suntel and Lanka Bell’s tariffs under regulation.

As per the telco licenses issued to the two wireless local-loop operators, their tariffs come under regulation from 2006, after it was extended from 2000.

The licences required