Inter-Connect

Sri Lanka Telecom on Friday sealed a deal to buy out Telstras 60 percent stake in cellular operator Mobitel.
SLT currently owns 40 percent of Mobitel, which is worth around Rs. 188 mn.rn

rnSources close to the deal said SLT drove a hard bargain to pick up the remaining parcel at around US$ 9.6 mn.rn

rnDespite signing the share purchase agreement, SLT officials were busy hammering out the tricky issues of Mobitels frequency and a legal snag in SLTs licence.rn

rnSLTs licence prevents it from owning more than 40 percent of a cellular operator. But the dominant operator is close to getting a lquote letter of comfort from the telecom regulator, which will help circumvent the legal problem.rn

rnMobitels plans to upgrade its network to a GSM frequency, makes the mobile operator a very attractive prospect. rn

rnThe mobile operator recently called for tenders from equipment vendors with a cap of US$ 15 mn.rn

rnBeing the third largest cellular operator, Mobitel currently operates on a TDMA platform a