Play Fair

Fixed line operators say the government should review the current situation in the telco market before dishing out new licenses. Fixed line operators say the government should review the current situation in the telco market before dishing out new licenses. The two wireless local loop operators Suntel and Lanka Bell claim to have already connected close to 100,000 new customers with some 400,000 lines added to Sri Lanka’s telecom line capacity since approval for CDMA networks was given in June 2005.

Industry watchers say, with Sri Lanka Telecom also expected to come out with its lower cost per line CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) wireless networks early next year – the island might not be able to sustain another network operator.

Officials say affordability is still a factor in Sri Lanka where over 40 percent of the population lives on less than US$ 2 a day.

Growth in the telecom market has also polarized toward the cellular segment where startup costs are a third of those in the fixed line segment.

Cellular growth as a result has skyrocketed, with the industry adding over 560,000 new connections in the