Private Call

March 08, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT), the island’s dominant fixed line operator, has invested over 100 billion rupees in the business since it was privatized a decade ago, the company says in its 2007 annual report. The firm has also given more than a million connections since then, with its fixed access subscribers at 1.4 million by December 2007, compared with a total national fixed subscriber base of 255,000 by the end of 1996.

“Since privatization of SLT in 1997, SLT has invested a total of 102.58 billion rupees in developing the telecom infrastructure of this country as well as investing in several regional and global initiatives,” SLT’s new chairman Leisha De Silva Chandrasena said.

Independent Management

After Japan’s NTT took over a 35 percent stake and management paying 225 million US dollars the firm aggressively rolled out its network rapidly awarding contracts which had earlier been delayed by various allegations under full state control.

At the same time it responded to competition from mobile and two newly licensed wireless fixed operators, in a textbook response of ‘privatized’ management. NTT itself however is a Japanese state firm.

The firm’s pricing was taken out of