Slow Connections

Dec 29, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lanka is the most uncertain market among South Asian countries for new telcos, while Pakistan has the most transparent process for entry and spectrum, despite high fees, a study has found. “Pakistan is the most expensive to enter in South Asia, but it’s the most transparent,” Helani Galpaya, chief operating officer at LIRNEasia a Sri Lankan-based think-tank, said.

“Operators are willing to pay the price to enter the market if the certainty factor is intact.”

According to the study carried out by LIRNEasia, Pakistan scored 3.9 points out of 5.0 for mobile licensing conditions, while Sri Lanka scored 2.7 points. India scored 3.1 points and Bangladesh 3.0 points.

Maldives was not included in the study due to its tiny population of 300,000 people and heavy government ownership of the telco sector.

In the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) region, Philippines scored 3.2 points, Indonesia 3.0 points and Thailand 2.7 points.

Transparent Price

A fresh mobile license including the spectrum is very expensive in Pakistan, Galpaya said.

Sri Lanka’s Telecom Regulatory Commission last issued a license for five million dollars but spectrum w