High Speed

May 22, 2006 (LBO) – Sri Lanka Monday offered mobile operators the chance to set up a next generation or third generation mobile phone network, with aim of offering high speed wireless services, the telecom watchdog said. Mobitel, a unit of Sri Lanka Telecom, is expected to start test runs on 3G as early as next month, Ratwatte added. Third generation or 3G licenses will be available on the 2GHz (gigahertz band) and the initial spectrum allocation will be limited to existing mobile operators, Telecommunications Regulatory Commission Director General, Kanchana Ratwatte told LBO.

“A 3G license gives mobile users flexibility and portability, allowing one to do more on the move,” says Ratwatte.

“One could make and receive video calls, emails, high-speed internet connections for web browsing with 3G technology.”

Ratwatte says the TRC has fixed the license fee at 5-million dollars. “Operators have two weeks to respond and we hope to give the licenses within a month thereafter.”

With over 3.5 million subscribers, Sri Lanka’s four-horse mobile market is shared between Dialog Telekom, Mobitel Lanka, Celltel Lanka and Hutchison.

Dialog Telekom, a unit of Telekom Malaysia, is currently the biggest of the fo