Hong Kong Hub

July 28, 2006 (LBO) – Sri Lanka Telecom, the island’s biggest fixed line operator, announced plans Friday to float a fully owned subsidiary in Hong Kong to extend their data network to the South Asian region. The telco’s chief Shuhei Anan said SLT Hong Kong Ltd will operate as a point of presence allowing the group to offer services to the region.

“Initially the POP (point-of-presence) would provide seamless connectivity to traffic generated by the SEA-ME-WE IV (South East Asia-Middle East-Western Europe) and Bharat Lanka submarine cables,” Anan said.

Initial cost of the project would be around 35 million rupees or 2.5 million Hong Kong dollars, he said.

Like Singapore, Hong Kong is a large regional hub used by most big telecom operators to route their data and voice services.

The telco, which carries an AAA (lka) rating from Fitch Ratings Lanka, controls 86 percent of Sri Lanka’s fixed-line market and a 15 percent of the cellular market.

For the three months to March, SLTs net profit rose 42 percent on-year to 1.29 billion rupees, mainly driven by a 43 percent on-year revenue growth in its fixed-line business.

SLTs six month earnings are due to be released on next Monday.