November 2, 2006 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s number two mobile operator Celltel said on Thursday it has built 200 new towers in six months, to virtually double its coverage in key towns. Celltel, which launched an analogue network in 1989 to become the first phone company in South Asia to go cellular, is splashing out 100 million dollars this year to add 500 new base stations, with the aim of increasing its subscriber base by 50 percent to 1.5 million users by end 2006.
Owned by international mobile telecoms group Millicom, Celltel to date has spent 70 million dollars on its expansion drive, increasing capacity in Colombo to over 40 percent, outstation areas by over 200 percent.
œWe have also improved call success rates of 99 percent, and call drop rates below 2-percent,” Chief Executive Dumindra Ratnayka said.
Celltel says it has 100 percent coverage in main towns of Kandy, Galle, Pollonnaruwa, as well as second level towns which include Habarna, Maskeliya, Karapitiya.
“We have also covered 60 percent of third level towns like Pinnawella and Buttala while 30 percent of fourth level towns like Wellawaya too have been covered, he said adding that the firm has foot