Satellite Partners

Dec 22, 2009 (LBO) – Two Malaysian telecom firms have expressed interest in taking part in a communications satellite project promoted by Sri Lanka’s telecom regulatory commission, a top official said. Sri Lanka wants to launch a geo-stationary satellite in the next three years, at an estimated cost of some 150 million US dollars and has already signed up with Surrey Satellite Technologies Limited (SSTL) of UK to start capacity building.

Among those being wooed by Sri Lanka is Malaysia’s UT group which recently bought into Sri Lanka Telecom, the island’s largest fixed access telco.

“The new investor to Sri Lanka Telecom has a stake in Malaysia’s satellite program called MEASAT (Malaysian East Asia Satellite) and they have already shown interest,” telecom regulator Priyantha Kariyapperuma said.

“They will come and invest.

“Even Axiata – also a Malaysian group of companies formerly called Telecom Malaysia – they have also shown some interest.”

Axiata owns Sri Lanka’s Dialog Telekom, the island’s largest cellco.

Nicholas Plant from Surrey Satellite Technologies said under a deal signed in December Sri Lanka will get support to build capacity and also set up and operate a sa