Launch Date

July 7, 2008 (LBO) – The Sri Lanka unit of India’s Bharti Airtel hopes to launch its services in the island by the end of the year, a media report said. Margins and profits of mobile operators have been coming down in recent years, with intense competition among the island’s operators.

In addition to Dialog, Mobitel, a unit of Sri Lanka Telecom, Tigo, a unit of Millicom International Cellular and Hutch of Hutchison Telecom.

The Times of India said the firm was testing its standard GSM digital services and third generation (3G) mobile services.

Bharti has tied up with China’s Huwawei Technologies to build and manage its network in Sri Lanka.

Bharti was originally hoping to launch services in the first quarter of 2008, but later said it may take up to September.

Other operators in the island, which includes Dialog Telekom, a unit of Telekom Malaysia which has 60 percent share of the market own and operate their own networks.

It has taken them years to build networks going through a cumbersome approval process to build towers.

Quoting an unnamed source in the company, The Times of India said the Sri Lanka unit wo