Growth Spurt

Sept 18, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Mobitel, a unit of fixed access operator Sri Lanka Telecom says its customers would increase by 300,000 to 2.4 million by year-end with a package aimed at state-workers selling rapidly. Mobitel chief executive Suren Amarasekera says the firm is issuing over 10,000 connections a day following the launch of a new Upahara branded package targeted at the island’s civil service.

Sri Lanka has more than 1.1 million state workers, which officials have aid could be the largest civil service per population in the world.

Amarasekera says the strong demand is using up network capacity quickly and has contracted has been awarded to China’s Huawei to expand capacity with base stations rising to 2000 from the current number of around 1,500.

The expansion will increase capacity in the network by 650,000 to 2.75 million subscribers, and coverage to 90 percent of the population, he says.

But with rapid acquisition of new subscribers the celco will request international proposals from vendors to build yet more capacity at the end of this month.

“Right now our expansions are brought forward to cater to the demand and growth we are seeing,” Amarasekera said.

“That is