Mobile Expansion

Dec 05, 2007 (LBO) – Mobitel, a celco owned by fixed operator Sri Lanka Telecom launched its third generation network in the island, saying its existing service was growing so fast it was struggling to meet demand. Studies have shown that household internet penetration to be around one percent, and most connectivity is concentrated in the western province and other major towns.

“We are bursting at the seams and we can’t even take in the number of connections. We are dealing excess of 100,000 connections (a month),” Suren Amarasekera, Mobitel chief executive said Wednesday.

“So it is giving us tremendous constraints in terms of keeping up with demand as well as upgrading our network. We will end the year with 1.4 to 1.5 million and next year we will see a similar growth.”

Mobitel has so far invested 200 million dollars on its 2.5G and 3.5G networks and also plans to introduce a variant to IP (Internet Protocol) telephony program ‘Skype’, in the next 2-3 years.

The firm intends to introduce new 3G enabled mobile content and services in the next 3-4 weeks, the company said in a statement.

The company hopes to increase its base stations to 1,500 from 1,000 by the end of January next year.