Twenty one applicants vying to get into the external gateway operations industry got their licences today, including network operators Suntel, Lanka Bell, Dialog, Hutchison and Celtell.
However, non network operators will have to wait till May 2003 to commence full operation, when the telecom regulator hopes to auction short codes – four digit numbers that will identify the international call providers. rn
rnOperators will also wait 60 days beginning March 3 for a reference interconnection offer to be made by Sri Lanka Telecom. rn
rnThe reference interconnection offer(RIO) will set the base for negotiations discussing charges for terminating calls on the phone networks of the seven telecommunication firms in Sri Lanka. rn
rnThe lack of an interconnection agreement with the network operators means that external gateway operators (EGO) cannot terminate international call on local networks. rn
rnThe absence of short codes meanwhile means that phone users cannot identify and access the new EGO serv