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Mon, 22 December 2014 21:44:28
Sri Lanka Etisalat unit offers video calls, mobile TV
06 May, 2011 15:54:01
May 06, 2011 (LBO) - The Sri Lanka unit of UAE-based Etisalat has commissioned a high-speed 3.75G wireless network enabling mobile broadband customers very fast Internet access, video calls and games, and mobile television.
Etisalat chief executive Dumindra Ratnayaka said potential to grow was wide with the island's Internet penetration being only about 8.0 percent although telephone density of 100.8 lines per 100 persons shows fixed and mobile connections had overtaken the population.

The network allows theoretical maximum download speeds of up to 42 Mbps (megabits per second) with 'dual carrier technology' using two carrier waves, both on the transmitter and receiver, although mobile devices in the market can handle only half that speed.

"When we did this big investment we also said we needed to see why the Internet penetration in this country is not growing, why the Internet penetration is only 8.0 percent," Ratnayaka told a news conference.

"We did a lot of research and that research showed us a lot interesting points and facts and we decided to come up with a solution that will assist the needs of the consumer."

Ratnayaka said mobile devices available in the local market can only handle speeds of up to 21 mbps.

"Today there are no devices, dongles or phones that are commercially available that can actually cater to these (42 mbps) speeds. This is really, really new technology and we will wait for the market to have commercial devices."

Etisalat, which says it has a mobile base of 3.5 million subscribers, is offering customers value-added services like video calls, video games, music videos, video messaging, video sharing and mobile TV at "reasonable prices."

"Etisalat broadband users can also look forward to special data packages and voice and data bundles without any speed throttling which restricts the user," a company statement said.

It has also introduced the Huawei S7 Android tablet for less than 31,000 rupees bundled with a year's data package.

Post-paid broadband packages are priced from 750 rupees for a 2GB data package to 1,500 rupees for a 12GB package with the connection fee at 150 rupees.

Ratnayaka said Etisalat is aiming at "breaking all barriers (to mobile broadband usage) by reaching out at a grassroots level."

Broadband coverage will expand covering all the districts and key cities in the island, he said.

Government data shows that mobile phone users grew 20.9 percent in 2010 to 17.2 million. Industry analysts say owners of more than one mobile subscriber identity module (SIM) are growing.

Data showed that internet connections including mobile broadband had grown 79.2 percent to 430,000 in 2010.

Etisalat also said the new product offers child protection and parental control in Internet access.

"Etisalat now partners Content Watch Inc. to provide NetNanny, one of the best Parental Control Softwares that will address security concerns of parents regarding Internet access for their children, offered at a very attractive price," it said.

"Meanwhile, broadband related content service will be offered by Etisalat in Sinhala and Tamil, a move towards breaking language barriers and enhancing accessibility and availability for all."
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