Sri Lanka’s largest mobile operator Dialog Telekom launched commercial 3G services in Colombo today, after receiving its UMTS licence yesterday. Dialog, controlled by Telekom Malaysia, is offering services including domestic and international video calls, streaming video/TV content, faster web browsing, music and movie downloads and online games. It has been running 3G trials since 2004 over a network spanning twelve base stations in the capital, and has around 1,000 trial customers. Its W-CDMA network is HSDPA-enabled allowing for data speed upgrades, and it plans to expand coverage to other regions this year. It paid around USD5 million for its 3G spectrum, as did the country’s three other cellcos, Celltel Lanka, Hutchison Telecommunications Lanka and Mobitel Sri Lanka, which were also awarded concessions yesterday. Dialog accounts for around 64% of the islands’ mobile market; it had 2.562 million subscribers at the end of June 2006, up by 260,000 in the second quarter.
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