Getting Connected

Oct 20, 2007 (LBO) –The number of Sri Lankans buying mobile phones is still increasing rapidly, opening new avenues for equipment sellers and cellular operators who expand coverage and add services, industry officials say. Nokia and Siemens, two leading telecom equipment providers who merged in March this year, are hoping to cash in on the continuing boom in Sri Lanka.

œWe believe by 2010 the mobile penetration will reach more than 50 percent and that means we are looking at 14 million who are connected, says Sunil Lakshmanasinghe, the country director of Nokia Siemens.

Nokia Siemens, the former better known for their mobile handsets, merged their equipment and technology supplying sectors. They now sell telecom related software in addition to switches and cables.

The company says over 5 billion phone owners are connected with some part of their equipment all over the world.

For them Sri Lanka seems to offer a lot of potential despite being a new market.

œThe operators will be looking at innovative services and we have products that we can offer, Lakshmanasinghe said.

Last year, a fifth mobile operator, India’s Bharati Airtel, was licensed to provide services in a market where