Bharti Airtel to invest USD150 million in Sri Lanka

16 May 2007

Indian cellco Bharti Airtel has upped its previous investment plan to roll out GSM and W-CDMA services in Sri Lanka, from USD100 million to USD150 million. Bharti has signed an agreement with the island’s foreign investment promotion body, the Board of Investment (BoI), towards this end, a company official reported. The firm won Sri Lanka’s fifth mobile licence in January, beating bids from its domestic rival Reliance Communications and Malaysia’s Maxis Telecom, and is currently scouting locations to set up base stations and talking to equipment vendors to roll out its network, which it hopes to be in operation by the end of this year. Sri Lanka’s mobile sector is growing fast, with the number of mobile phone subscribers rising to 5.413 million by the end of 2006, according to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database. The market is currently dominated by Telekom Malaysia’s subsidiary Dialog Telekom, with around 57% of subscribers, ahead of Mobitel, Celltel Lanka and Hutchison Telecommunications Lanka.

Sri Lanka, Bharti Airtel, Bharti Airtel Lanka,

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