Floor Connection

Dec 17, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lanka is looking at setting an interconnection rate of around 60 cents a minute for mobile operators from February next year, the regulator said, as the industry was gripped in a price war. “We are looking at 60 cents a minute,” director general of Sri Lanka’s telecom regulatory commission Priyantha Kariyapperuma said.

“But we would like to get a consensus before implementing it. We would not want the operators to go to court after the decision. For more than two and a half year we have kept out of courts.”

Sri Lanka telecom sector was gripped in a deadly price war after the regulator approved the entry of a fifth operator, India’s Bharti Airtel. Existing operators started a street fight even before Airtel launched its operations.

“Merely competing on price is not a satisfactory situation,” Kariyapperuma said. “We would like them to offer value-added services.”

Sri Lanka now has a ‘sender keeps all’ interconnection regime which the larger operators claim is allowing smaller firms to ‘dump’ calls for termination in their networks, which have larger customer bases.

A 60 cents per minute interconnection rate would also effectively set a ‘floor’ price per minute.