Full Penetration

Sept 09, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lanka top celcos firms said they will connect more people by finding ways to lower costs, despite rising inflation and taxes on mobile calls hitting the pockets of poorer sections of society. Anoja Obeysekere, from Sri Lanka’s Dialog Telekom, who is the chairperson of the Asia Pacific GSM Association, told members at a forum in Colombo that their challenge was to connect the remaining 2 billion people in the region after getting 1.2 billion customers on board so far.

Sri Lanka’s mobile penetration is now 44 percent and the island’s telecom regulator Priyantha Kariyapperuma says the country would hit 50 percent by the end of the year.

The head of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) says the world has to move from an information society to a knowledge society where people have online access to a converged world of voice video and data.

“We are today in what we call the information society,” ITU secretary general Hamadoun Toure told reporters.

“We are not a fully knowledge society, because not all citizens of the world are connected.

“One we reach that goal we will be in the knowledge society that we are all dreaming of.”

Sri Lanka’s presidential sec