Hot Call

The arrival of CDMA is expected to add fuel to Sri Lanka’s already hot telecommunications sector, as operators and subscribers hope the technology will offer them sorely needed cheaper and faster landline connections. The arrival of CDMA is expected to add fuel to Sri Lanka’s already hot telecommunications sector, as operators and subscribers hope the technology will offer them sorely needed cheaper and faster landline connections. CDMA, an acronym for Code Division Multiple Access, is used primarily for mobile connections elsewhere but Sri Lanka has adopted it for landline purposes, making phones available to rural areas, where 90% of people lack a connection.

Analysts say the rollout of CDMA may result in a 10%-20% growth in the number of fixed line subscribers in the country by December.

The Telecommunications Regulatory Commission, Sri Lanka’s telecom regulator, issued two licenses for the technology in March, to Suntel, partly owned by Swedish telecom company Overseas Telecom AB and Lanka Bell, a unit of Distilleries Co. of Sri Lanka. Overseas Telecom is a unit of Nordic telecom operator TeliaSonera AB.

Within a month of starting CDMA operations in July, Suntel has added 25,000 subscriber