Ideal Spectrum

Dec 03, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lankan telecommunications firms will begin unrolling WiMAX networks offering high-speed internet connections at lower cost in January, the island’s telecom regulator, Priyantha Kariyapperuma, said.

The networks using the Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access (WiMAX) technology will especially benefit rural areas enabling services like telemedicine and e-learning, officials said.

Sri Lanka’s largest celco Dialog Telekom, a unit of Telekom Malaysia, and two other operators, Lanka Bell and Suntel, are already offering WiMAX services on the 3.5G spectrum in 375 base stations throughout the country.

The three operators have a customer base of 12,000, Kariyapperuma said.

WiMAX can provide access to difficult to reach rural sector users who otherwise have to be connected via expensive satellite connections or by laying copper cables.

WiMAX offers broadband wireless internet connectivity over long distances, sometimes over 15 kilometers, unlike Wi-Fi wireless devices that have very limited range.

It will enable people in rural areas to use services like telemedicine and a host of education services such as e-learning, Fayaz Huda of the Information Communication