Public Talk

Mar09. (LBO) — Sri Lanka’s only payphone operator, Tritel Services will invest US $35 million over three years to set up its own CDMA based public phone network, an official said. The initial investment phase will pay for more than 20,000 payphones outside the commercialised western province and will cover Anuradhapura, Galle, Trincomallee, Batticalo, Kurunegala, Hambantota, Tangalle and Kalutara.

A second phase of investment is also on the cards to increase total payphones in operation to over 40,000 by 2009.

The new network will also offer value added services including short message services (SMS) and voice mail boxes.

Two CDMA based switches have already been set up, and the company is expecting to install more than 5000 payphone units by end 2006, Tritel’s Head of Product Development and Regulatory Affairs (Payphones) Usantha Thilakaratne told LBO on Thursday.

œWe are currently negotiating with the existing operators for interconnection agreements, Thilakaratne said.

The payphone operator will however continue to use services from existing network operators, especially in urban areas.

Tritel now piggybacks on wireless, wireline and mob