Airwave War

Feb 16, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s mobile phone operators have declined to respond to accusations by newest market entrant, India’s Bharti Airtel, that they are resorting to interconnectivity sabotage, citing a gag order by the regulator.

Company officials said the Telecommunication and Regulatory Commission (TRC) has asked celcos not to comment on recent accusations by Bharti Airtel that it was not getting enough interconnectivity by the existing four cellular operators.

“We have been requested by the regulator not to make any comments,” said Duminda Ratnayake, chief executive of Tigo, owned by Luxembourg-based Millicom International Cellular SA.

The executive director of Bharti Airtel K. Srinivas had told the state owned Daily News in an interview that, during the busy hours only 30 percent of calls generated from Airtel phones get connected to other networks.

Only 50 percent of required capacity is provided to Airtel by the existing service providers, Srinivas alleged.

“These include the provision of required capacity at other operator networks as well as provision of physical access to infrastructure up-gradation at their locations,” Srinivas told the Daily News.

“These two activities are fundamental