Seamless Access

June 23, 2006 (LBO) – Over a dozens firms have responded to the telecom watchdog’s call to take up a WiMAX license and offer services islandwide, the regulator said Friday. WiMAX or Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access uses the 3.5 gigahertz frequency band to provide cost effective broadband technologies.

The telecom regulator will initially set the tariffs, as the government is keen to provide internet connectivity to remote areas at very low costs.

“The responses have been overwhelming and the intention of TRCSL is to have the major cities covered by WiMAX by December 2006,” Telecommunications Regulatory Commission Director General, Kanchana Ratwatte said.

Firms seeking to deploy WiMAX included a few existing operators who wanted to amend their licenses, Ratwatte said.

WiMAX is considered to be a more cost effective broadband technology over the traditional wire-line based solutions such as ADSL and dial-up lines.

So far, the TRC has assigned test frequencies to Sri Lanka Telecom the island’s biggest fixed line operator for a WiMAX project. A commercial rollout requires a frequency license.

SLTs Chief Marketing Officer,