Speed Dialling

The Telecom Minister says up to 11 operators could be given technology neutral licenses, to clear up a 700,000-customers long waiting list, a bulk of it in rural Sri Lanka. The Telecom Minister says up to 11 operators could be given technology neutral licenses, to clear up a 700,000-customers long waiting list, a bulk of it in rural Sri Lanka. Changes to the Telecom Act to allow technology neutral licenses will be pushed through this month the Minister D M U Jayaratne said at a ceremony at Sri Lanka Telecom to mark his first visit there.


The seven network operators currently in the market and firms from Britain, Australia, China and possibly Malaysia make up the 11 operators.


Jayaratne says talks with a Malaysian firms is due next week and was unable to talk about its commitment, but added that firms from China, Britain and Australia had show keen interest to participate in the rural connectivity project.

A technology neutral license will remove all technology restrictions, which currently limit operators into a service segment like cellular, wireless local loop and wired connections.

The slow progress in deploying phone lines in rural community has been