Soft Landing

December 12, 2006 (LBO) – Lanka Bell, one of Sri Lanka’s privately held wireless telecom operators, has tied up with India’s FLAG Telecom to lay an undersea cable linking both countries. FLAG owns and manages an extensive optical fibre network spanning four continents and connecting key business markets in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the USA.

The 27 million dollar deal will see a third landing on the cable that currently runs from India to the Maldives, Lanka Bell’s Director, Damien Fernando said.

Sri Lanka Telecom currently has undersea cable links through the SEA-ME-WEA (South East Asia, Middle East and Western Europe) consortium which helps channel overseas traffic.

Dialog Telekom currently rides on its parent company Telekom Malaysia to route their overseas traffic.

Lanka Bell started off in 1997, with a license to provide fixed line services using wireless local loop technology.

The telco’s Singaporean owners Transmarco subsequently sold 76.6 percent to Sri Lanka’s Milford Holdings (Pvt) Ltd a unit of business tycoon Harry Jayawardene led Distilleries Group in 2005 for 16 million dollars.

Last year, the telco rolled out a 40 million