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Telecom operator Suntel Ltd is rolling out a US$ 60 mn expansion plan over the next three years, after clinching a slot in the 800 Mhz bandwidth recently, company officials said Tuesday. Telecom operator Suntel Ltd is rolling out a US$ 60 mn expansion plan over the next three years, after clinching a slot in the 800 Mhz bandwidth recently, company officials said Tuesday. The wireless local loop operator picked up 2.5 Mhz in the 800 Mhz frequency band this month, following a Telecom Ministry directive to allow private fixed line operators to use low cost CDMA (code division multiple access) technology.

By signing up for frequencies, Suntel and its rival Lanka Bell have promised to connect 300,000 lines over the next three years in rural Sri Lanka.

Lanka Bell last week announced plans for a US$ 35 mn expansion plan over the next three months, its Deputy CEO, Suren Goonewardene said.

“The additional frequencies give us room to push for islandwide coverage,” Suntel Chief Lillemor Larsson told reporters.

Suntel says only 20 percent or one million of 4.5 mn households in Sri Lanka have a fixed phone at present. By pushing out connectivity through low cost technology, Suntel