Island Call

Mar. 01 (LBO) — Fixed line giant Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) will add the Maldivian incumbent telco operator to its list of regional clients, commissioning an undersea cable by late 2006. Tenders for the 10 gigabit undersea cable project are now being evaluated, SLT Deputy Chief Operating Office C B R Perera told LBO on Tuesday.

The Maldivian telco is SLT’s second regional tie up to sell international bandwidth after India’s fixed line giant Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSLN).

Dhiraagu is Maldives largest fixed, mobile and internet service provider, with services connecting most of the nation’s islands with at least two payphones.

Perera said the undersea link that will be available from late 2006 will help the Maldives cut its voice and data tariffs, which are currently at a regional high due to its dependence on international bandwidth through satellite based technologies.

The fixed line giant plans to use international bandwidth capacity added through the fourth South East Asia – Middle East Western Europe (SEA-ME-WE 4) undersea cable commissioned in November 2005 to become a regional telecom hub.

SLT officials said in an earlier interview said that