Friday, October 28, 2011

HTC EVO 3D Pre-register offer From Dialog

Pre-Registration bonus:
Be entitled to the Discounted price and 1GB limited data 12 month Free
How the Pre-Order offer works:
Place your pre-order today and obtain your unique serial number. An agent from Dialog will contact you 1 week prior to official release date to confirm if your pre-order was confirmed or not. Upon Confirmation you could either buy the product online on or at -Selected Dialog customer care centers by providing your unique serial number.
Pre-registration payment plans:
Pre-registration payment plans available only at Dialog Customer Care Centres. Rs. 7,990/- x 12 months or Rs. 4,090/- x 24 months (Monthly payment plans available only with selected banks)


Dialog Continues Growth Momentum with Strong Q3 Results

Dialog Axiata PLC announced, Friday 28th October 2011, its consolidated financial results for the nine months ended 30 September 2011. Financial results included those of Dialog Axiata PLC (the “Company”) and of the Dialog Axiata Group (the “Group”) post consolidation with subsidiaries Dialog Broadband Networks (Pvt.) Ltd (“DBN”) and Dialog Television (Pvt.) Ltd (“DTV”).

The Group recorded strong revenue growth across all segments to reach Rs 11.6billion for the 3rd Quarter. Group Revenue for the nine months ending 30th September 2011 was recorded at Rs 33.7billion, delivering growth of 5% QoQ and 10% YoY.

Revenue growth in combine with effective cost management lead to the Group posting a healthy growth in EBITDA with Q3 2011 EBITDA being recorded at Rs 4.3billion, inclusive of the recognition of Rs 342million pertaining to Telecommunication Development Fund refunds from the TRCSL accordingly, EBITDA increased 14% QoQ. The Group EBITDA margin grew by 2 percentage points on a QoQ comparison to reach 37% for the 3rd Quarter. Group EBITDA for the 1st nine months of 2011 was recorded at Rs 11.7billion up 5% compared to the corresponding period in 2010 featuring an YTD EBITDA margin of 35%. Group net profit for Q3 2011 was posted at Rs 1.4billion, up 1% QoQ. Net profit for the 1st nine months of 2011 was recorded at Rs 3.9billion, up by 4% YoY.

The positive performance trajectory at Group level was underpinned by robust growth in the Group’s core mobile business as reflected in the financial performance of the Company.

On the strength of a 7 million strong mobile subscriber base, Company Revenue grew by 5% QoQ to reach Rs 10.7billion. Company revenue for the nine months ending 30th September was recorded at Rs 30.9billion, up 10% relative to the corresponding period in 2010.

Company costs grew by 16% YoY. Cost expansion at company level is attributable in the main to revenue linked costs associated with International origination and Domestic Interconnection Charges, and escalation in network operating costs in line with the aggressive expansion of the Company’s 2G and 3G infrastructure footprint. Cost escalation YTD was further influenced by the impact of non-recoverable VAT expenditure, in light of changes in the VAT environment applicable to the telecom industry since January 2011.

Notwithstanding revenue linked cost expansion, EBITDA at company level increased by 15% QoQ (inclusive of the recognition of TDF refunds) to reach Rs 4.1billion in Q3 2011.The Company’s EBITDA margin improved by 3 percentage points QoQ, to reach 38%. Company EBITDA was recorded at Rs 10.9billion for 1st nine months of 2011 and featured an EBITDA margin of 35% YTD.

On the backdrop of robust EBITDA performance in the 3rd Quarter, Company PAT grew by 3% QoQ to be recorded at Rs 1.7billion in Q3 2011. On an YoY basis, flat EBITDA performance in combine with increased depreciation charges, lead to YTD NPAT (recorded at Rs 4.6billion), exhibiting negative growth of 7% relative to the corresponding period in 2010.

Dialog Television (DTV) continued its positive growth momentum recording YoY revenue growth of 13% to reach Rs 1.7billion for 1st nine months of 2011. EBITDA for Q3 2011 was posted at Rs 118million and Rs 377million for the 1st nine months of 2011. On an YoY comparison, DTV EBITDA improved 182% relative to the corresponding period in 2010. The DTH Pay Television subscriber base increased by 32% relative to the corresponding period in 2010 to surpass the 200,000 subscriber milestone during the 3rd Quarter.

Dialog Broadband Networks, featuring Dialog’s fixed telecommunications business continued to consolidate performance trends of the previous quarters, to record its sixth successive quarter of positive EBITDA in Q3 2011. DBN EBITDA was recorded at Rs 154million, a 3% decrease on a QoQ basis. EBITDA for 1st nine months of 2011 however exhibited positive growth with YTD EBITDA growing 175% YoY to be recorded at Rs 456million. DBN remained PAT dilutive in Q3 2011 on the backdrop of the application of aggressive depreciation charges accruing from the accelerated amortization of its CDMA and WiMAX networks.

The Group continued to make aggressive investments in consolidating its leadership in terms of nationwide ICT infrastructure footprint and the application of cutting edge technology across its mobile, fixed and broadband businesses. Group Capital expenditure for the nine months ending 30th September 2011 was recorded at Rs 6.7billion. Capital expenditure was directed in the main towards strategic investments in High Speed Mobile Broadband and Optical Fibre Network (OFN) expansion projects.

On the backdrop of robust EBITDA performance, the Group continued to record positive Free Cash Flows (FCF) for the seventh consecutive quarter, with Q3 2011 FCF being recorded at Rs 3.2billion. In line with the generation of healthy free cash flows, the Dialog Group continued to maintain a structurally strong balance sheet with the Group’s Net Debt to EBITDA ratio improving from 1.5x as at 30th September 2010 to 0.99x as at the end of Q3 2011.

Siri Gives Apple a Two-Year Advantage Over Google

Could Siri, the voice-based virtual assistant for every iPhone 4S owner, constitute a threat to Google’s Android operating system?

Absolutely, says Gary Morgenthaler, a partner at Morgenthaler Ventures, recognized expert in artificial intelligence, and a Siri board member and investor. Apple, he argues, now has at least a two-year advantage over Google in the war for best smartphone platform.

“What Siri has done is changed people’s expectations about what’s possible,” Morgenthaler said in an interview with Mashable. “Apple has crossed a threshold; people now expect that you should be able to expect to speak ordinary English — and be understood. Siri has cracked the code.”

This threshold, from mere speech recognition to natural language input and understanding, is one that Google cannot cross by replicating the technology or making an acquisition. “There’s no company out there they can go buy,” Morgenthaler says.

Google has Voice Actions, a voice search application for Android. So what’s the big difference? It comes down to semantics, Morgenthaler says: “Siri understands what you mean.” She has a far more precise understanding of what you’re saying and the context you’re saying it in, in other words.

Morgenthaler calls Google’s Voice Actions a “capable speech recognition program,” and says it was the state-of-the-art voice-based user interaction program. That was, until Siri, with all her semantic prowess, debuted on iPhone 4S. (Of course, Morgenthaler may well have a financial stake in Siri’s future; the terms of the company’s sale to Apple were never disclosed.)

Currently, Google is making dismissive public pronouncements about Siri: “your phone shouldn’t be your assistant,” Android chief Andy Rubin told the AsiaD Conference. But Morgenthaler believes they’re scrambling to catch up behind the scenes, because Apple won’t stand still with this technology.

Rather, it will use Siri to solidify the strength of its platform and steal advertising dollars away from Google, he argues. “Siri is a platform,” Morgenthaler says. “It’s not just limited to those things that Apple has done at launch.”

SEE ALSO: I Want My Siri TV: Is Apple Aiming to Make the Remote Obsolete?

At the moment, Siri has a lot of iPhone-centric functions. But Siri the company implemented more than 45 APIs prior to being acquired by Apple — meaning the possibilities of a conversation interface to the web are endless. Back in April 2010, just after the Apple acquisition, Mashable noted Siri’s potential role as a driver in mobile search.

“Apple has the opportunity to outmode the entire Android ecosystem,” Morgenthaler says. Of course, that hinges on Apple making those APIs available to iOS developers, but he believes Apple will do just that: “This will be the differentiating factor in the iOS platform.”

Siri’s threat to Google could reach further than Android. In fact, Siri challenges Google’s entire search empire and shakes it to the foundation, Morgenthaler says.

“Google has made a huge contribution to all of our lives … they’ve made search comprehensive and instantaneous … but the whole paradigm is wrong,” he says. “[People] don’t want a million blue links, they want one correct answer. All the rest is noise that you’d rather have go away.

“Apple has the opportunity to really understand the question that you’re asking, and apply semantic knowledge such that [Siri] will deliver you the right answer, or a small set of highly relevant answers.”

When that happens, Morgenthaler says, all the steps that typically comprise an online search, including the ads served against search results, become completely irrelevant. He believes Apple can and will circumvent this search experience, passing consumers to merchants by way of Siri — and earning a finders fee for doing so. Under this paradigm, Google could be completely forgotten.

In short, forget the search engine — Siri will be an answer engine. She can perform executable actions and change consumer expectations in the process.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

SLT Group Records Rs. 50 Bn Revenue and Rs. 5.96 Bn PBT

  • SLT Group PBT up by 327% to Rs. 5.96 Bn
  • PAT increases by 407% to Rs. 3.94 Bn

Colombo, Sri Lanka, February 23rd 2011 - Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT), the leading National Integrated Telecommunications Service Provider notched exemplary milestones for 2010 including the status of being the First Listed Company in Sri Lanka to post a record Rs 50.25 Bn in revenue in a Financial Year. Releasing the SLT Group and Company financial results for the 12 months ending 31st December 2010, the Group also delivered a Profit Before Tax (PBT) of Rs 5.96 Bn, with a YoY noteworthy growth of 327%, while the Group's Profit After Tax (PAT) hit Rs 3.94 Bn, a remarkable increase of 407%.

The impressive financial results were mainly driven by the improved performance delivered by SLT, the parent Company of the Group and exceptional performance by Mobitel, the Mobile arm of the SLT group.

Group free cash flow showed an increased from a negative Rs. 2.0 Bn in 2009 to Rs. 8.8 Bn in 2010. Comparatively low capital expenditure and better performance overall, saw an improvement in cash flows.

Group EPS increased from Rs. 0.43 in 2009 to Rs. 2.18 in 2010, which is an increase of 407%, which naturally permeated to better shareholder value.

The impressive 147% growth of Rs. 3.97 Bn in PBT achieved by SLT in 2010 is primarily due to the infusion of prudent operational efficiencies and through restructuring. The Company experienced a marginal drop in revenue to Rs. 33.31 Bn in 2010 from Rs. 34.09 Bn in 2009, mainly due to price pressures and alternative solutions available in the market. However, SLT was able to improve its NPAT margin from 4% in 2009 to 7% in 2010, while maintaining an EBITDA margin of 30%. During 2010, SLT achieved Rs. 2.48 Bn NPAT compared to Rs. 1.23 Bn in the prior year, an impressive 101% increase YoY.

Commenting on the positive performance for 2010, Chairman of SLT Group Nimal Welgama affirmed that the Rs 50.25 Bn revenue for the Group is certainly a landmark in the telecommunication and corporate annals of Sri Lanka. "We are firmly positioned now as the first Sri Lankan company to achieve this record which provides considerable boost to our bottom line and is reflective of our prudent cost management initiatives and focus on subsidiary profitability. Given the strategic focus we have instituted in all our areas of business and the emphasis we have constantly infused in ensuring that our end objectives and targets are met or exceeded, it is indeed noteworthy that we have implemented the necessary foundations and strategies to drive substantial growth and profits.

He reiterated that the Group while having established a pragmatic framework to ensure consistent growth in all its KPIs, has been insistent in infusing a more visionary outlook and an attitudinal change which naturally contributed positively, both quantitatively and qualitatively. "Having already commenced our Transformation Programme that has established changes across numerous areas including, customer centricity, innovation and an overarching emphasis on prudent cost management remain very high on our agenda.

"We have already laid the foundations to transform our traditional network to a Next Generation Network, investing considerably in infrastructure, technology, training and development". he said, expanding further on the significant 'on the ground' achievements that SLT has attained through the year. "Our Optical Fibre Connectivity Project is another such accomplishment with over 8,000 kms of optical fibre connecting most of the country. We passed the 200,000 fixed line broad band customer mark achieving a growth of 36% and a customer increase of 57,000 YoY and have amassed a total of 1.4 million fixed lines and over 4.0 million mobile customers." Fixed wired line customers showed growth of 24,000 YoY standing slightly below 900,000, while the fixed wireless (CDMA) customer base declined by 12,000 to reach 550,000 subscribers, a trend that strongly underpins customer preference for fixed broadband ADSL services.

The SLT Group which comprises SLT and seven subsidiaries has created a unique business model that has the ability to leverage on each other's synergies which leads to astute cost management and optimal utilization of technology and resources, prompting highly innovative state of the art telecommunication solutions.

Mobitel posted a commendable performance in 2010 recovering from a dip in profits in 2009, with PBT of Rs 1.94Bn and a PAT of Rs 1.51 Bn, compared to Rs. 219 Mn and Rs.395 Mn losses respectively in 2009. PAT was achieved from a combined 30% growth in revenue, which was Rs 20Bn, and the instigation of astute cost management initiatives. It is pertinent to note that this remarkable growth in profit was posted despite having to provide for corporate tax, of Rs 431 Mn for 2010, while in comparison, in 2009 the provision was Rs 176 Mn, a liability that was due only from the 1st of July 2009 due to the expiry of the tax holiday granted to Mobitel.

Key drivers in revenue growth are attributed to a continued increase in prepaid services and mobile broadband gaining momentum, while a carefully executed strategy for value innovation and brand building through service excellence added further impetus to this drive. Consolidating its position further, Mobitel crossed the 4 million customer mark this year despite an intensely competitive market. EBITDA for 2010 reached Rs. 6.66 Bn with a growth rate of 62% YoY. In absolute terms, the revenue of Rs. 20 Bn in 2010 compared to Rs.15.43 bBn in the year 2009, an increase of over Rs.4.58 Bn, almost 30% YoY.

Sky Network unveiled Sri Lanka's first ever WiMax 16e high speed fixed broadband network in November 2010, while Sri Lanka Telecom Mobitel is in the process of expanding its 3.5G network, both of which represent two considerable expansion projects supported by SLT. With the launch of WiMax and both SLT and Mobitel's prowess in fixed and mobile broadband services, the SLT Group reiterates its status as an integrated total telecommunications solutions provider. SLT's fully owned subsidiary SLT Publications, the sole directory publisher in Sri Lanka has aggressively grown its product and service portfolio across numerous avenues and posted a profit of Rs 109 Mn, while Sri Lanka VisionCom, the subsidiary that launched the revolutionary and unique PEOTV entertainment and interactive service recorded a noteworthy 91% customer growth in 2010 YoY.

In conclusion, Chairman Welgama points out that the Group is striving to create a conducive environment for sustained and consistent organizational growth, instituting the principals of best practice, governance, prudent risk management, emphasis on ethics, professionalism, transparency, accountability and sincerity of action into its everyday workings. "At the same time, at a national level we are mandated to shoulder the responsibility of ensuring connectivity throughout, a key driver in the accelerated national development plan. While we have instituted a plethora of initiatives in order to make Sri Lanka the ICT hub it aspires to be, we must continue to develop and build on the foundations we have already constructed."

It is with great appreciation that I commend the entire team of the SLT Group for their immense passion and commitment in taking up numerous challenges with great enthusiasm and perseverance, to ensure that we meet and is some instances exceed our goals and objectives. I have great confidence that our team will continue to excel in creating a world class ICT environment for the country to prosper."

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Sony India and airtel digital TV come together to expand the Flat panel TV viewing opportunity this cricket season

New Delhi, Feburary 3, 2011 : airtel digital TV, the DTH service from bharti airtel and Sony India have come together to expand the Flat Panel TV market ahead of the sports season this year. Customers of Sony’s Bravia range of LCDs can take this opportunity to experience the magic of next generation MPEG4 DVBS 2 DTH technology on airtel digital TV. With sale of TV sets having a direct positive impact on the growth of the DTH category, this partnership aims to make a powerful impact in the marketplace this season, which starts with an action packed 90 day long high velocity international cricket action.

Offer details:
- Customers purchasing Sony Bravia LCDs 32" and above will get an airtel digital TV HD connection by recharging an additional Rs.1000.
- Customers purchasing 22" or 26" Sony Bravia LCDs can go in for a Standard Definition (SD) airtel digital TV connection by recharging an additional Rs.750!

All the above offers include the cost of the set top box, installation charges, along with a 3-month subscription to airtel’s Economy Sports Pack OR 4-months of South Economy Sports pack. In addition, HD customers also get a 3-month free subscription to NGC HD. Both the Economy Sports Pack and the South Economy Sports Pack include all the leading channels that will telecast key cricket and other sporting events throughout the year, namely ESPN, Star Sports, Star Cricket, Ten Sports, Ten Cricket, Ten Action+, DD Sports and SetMax.

According to Sugato Banerji, CMO-DTH services, bharti airtel, "This alliance with Sony, the market leader in the flat panel category, is consistent with our strategy of furthering innovation through industry leading partnerships. The power of airtel’s MPEG4 DVBS2 technology together with Sony Bravia’s Engine 3 technology will enable customers to experience crystal clear, vibrant images in enhanced detail on both SD and HD. With sports events clearly being inflection points for TV, DTH sales we are confident of leveraging our combined synergies to lead the growth in these categories this season.”

According to Mr. Tadato Kimura, General Manager, Marketing, Sony India, said, "With World Cup being broadcast in High Definition for the first time, the HD phenomenon will certainly gain further momentum in the Indian market. To ensure that our consumers are able to enjoy this strikingly superior viewing experience, we have partnered with Airtel to provide free Airtel HD DTH connection on purchase of BRAVIA TV. We are confident that this association would be mutually beneficial from a business as well as cultural perspective as both companies wish to promote HD viewing in India."

airtel digital TV - the DTH service from Bharti airtel – has over 4.9 million customers and is one of the leading national level DTH service in the country which offers its customers MPEG 4 with DVBS 2 – currently the most advanced digital broadcasting technologies available in the world after HD broadcasting. Additionally, airtel digital TV was the first to bring many firsts to the DTH segment in India including a Universal Remote which operates both the Set Top Box and TV set as well as several unique Interactive Applications. airtel digital TV recorder was the first to offer the capability to record live television, anytime, anywhere and recently added HD services to its portfolio. Users can also update themselves on the latest stock news. All this is backed by 24x7 customer care. airtel digital TV launched its services in October 2008.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Nokia and Microsoft Announce Plans for a Broad Strategic Partnership to Build a New Global Mobile Ecosystem

Nokia and Microsoft today announced plans to form a broad strategic partnership that would use their complementary strengths and expertise to create a new global mobile ecosystem.

Nokia and Microsoft intend to jointly create market-leading mobile products and services designed to offer consumers, operators and developers unrivalled choice and opportunity. As each company would focus on its core competencies, the partnership would create the opportunity for rapid time to market execution. Additionally, Nokia and Microsoft plan to work together to integrate key assets and create completely new service offerings, while extending established products and services to new markets.

Under the proposed partnership:

Nokia would adopt Windows Phone as its principal smartphone strategy, innovating on top of the platform in areas such as imaging, where Nokia is a market leader.

Nokia would help drive the future of Windows Phone. Nokia would contribute its expertise on hardware design, language support, and help bring Windows Phone to a larger range of price points, market segments and geographies.

Nokia and Microsoft would closely collaborate on joint marketing initiatives and a shared development roadmap to align on the future evolution of mobile products.

Bing would power Nokia’s search services across Nokia devices and services, giving customers access to Bing’s next generation search capabilities. Microsoft adCenter would provide search advertising services on Nokia’s line of devices and services.

Nokia Maps would be a core part of Microsoft’s mapping services. For example, Maps would be integrated with Microsoft’s Bing search engine and adCenter advertising platform to form a unique local search and advertising experience

Nokia’s extensive operator billing agreements would make it easier for consumers to purchase Nokia Windows Phone services in countries where credit-card use is low.

Microsoft development tools would be used to create applications to run on Nokia Windows Phones, allowing developers to easily leverage the ecosystem’s global reach.

Nokia’s content and application store would be integrated with Microsoft Marketplace for a more compelling consumer experience.

“Today, developers, operators and consumers want compelling mobile products, which include not only the device, but the software, services, applications and customer support that make a great experience,” Stephen Elop, Nokia President and CEO, said at a joint news conference in London. “Nokia and Microsoft will combine our strengths to deliver an ecosystem with unrivalled global reach and scale. It’s now a three-horse race.”

“I am excited about this partnership with Nokia,” said Steven A. Ballmer, Microsoft CEO. “Ecosystems thrive when fueled by speed, innovation and scale.The partnership announced today provides incredible scale, vast expertise in hardware and software innovation and a proven ability to execute.”

Dialog Records Rs. 5.05 Bn. Net Profit for FY 2010

Dialog Axiata PLC announced, Friday 11th February 2011, its financial results for the year ended 31 December 2010. Financial results included those of Dialog Axiata PLC (the “Company”) and of the Dialog Axiata Group (the “Group”) post consolidation with subsidiaries Dialog Broadband Networks (Pvt.) Ltd (“DBN”) and Dialog Television (Pvt.) Ltd (“DTV”).

The Group delivered strong performance in terms of profitability, recording NPAT of Rs. 5.05Bn for FY 2010 a 141% increase year on year (YoY). The Group NPAT was driven by strong performance at the Company level, with Dialog Axiata PLC featuring the Group’s mobile business, posted a profit of Rs. 1.56Bn for Q4 and taking the full year profit to Rs. 6.55Bn, an increase of 171% relative to 2009. Performance during 2010 was underpinned by a healthy momentum in revenue growth, positive outcomes of strategic cost rescaling, balance sheet restructuring initiatives and consistent financial discipline across all aspects of the business.

Subsidiaries DTV and DBN registered gains YoY at both EBITDA and NPAT levels, demonstrating traction in terms of the Group’s Fixed Line, Broadband and Television businesses. Relative to 2009, EBITDA (positive) and NPAT (negative) improved by 243% and 80% for DTV and 169% and 50% for DBN respectively.

Dialog Group revenues were recorded at Rs. 41.42Bn for the year 2010, up 14% YoY and 2% Quarter on Quarter (QoQ). The Group EBITDA was recorded at Rs. 15.08Bn, up 55% YoY, and down by a marginal 2% on QoQ basis. The Group EBITDA margin improved by 9 percentage points YoY, to reach 36%. Underpinned by the positive EBITDA growth trajectory, the Group NPAT recorded a strong growth of 141% YoY. The Group NPAT for the 4th Quarter however displayed a 25% reduction when compared to Q3 2010, driven largely by higher depreciation and lower foreign exchange gain in Q4 2010.

Strong Growth in Mobile Business

The Company continued to leverage its market leading position within Sri Lanka’s mobile market to deliver strong growth in revenue and profitability. The Company recorded revenues of Rs. 9.89Bn and Rs. 37.95Bn for Q4 and FY 2010 respectively. The Company revenue grew by 14% compared to 2009 and 2% relative to the previous quarter. The Company’s revenue trajectory was driven by the growth in Mobile Voice/VAS, mobile broadband, Global and Tele-Infrastructure businesses.

The Company continued to extract positive outcomes from strategic cost rescaling initiatives. Operating costs (excluding depreciation and non-recurring charges for 2009) reduced by 8% in FY 2010, while remaining flat on QoQ basis. Operating cost improvements YoY were driven primarily by reductions in operational overheads and manpower related expenses.

Direct cost (excluding depreciation) grew by 9% YoY (6% when normalised for interconnect costs introduced in 2010) and 11% QoQ. Increase in direct cost was driven in the main by international origination costs and outbound roaming costs in tandem with revenue growth accruing from the corresponding lines of business.

On the backdrop of strong revenue growth and cost improvements, the Company EBITDA for 2010 grew by 43% YoY to reach Rs. 14.46Bn. The EBITDA margin expanded from 30% in 2009 to 38% in 2010 – an increase of 8 percentage points compared to 2009. EBITDA for Q4 2010 however reduced by 4% to Rs. 3.60Bn, in line with the increase in direct costs alluded to above. The Company NPAT for 2010 was recorded at Rs. 6.55Bn a 306% improvement relative to the normalised (excluding one-off network modernisation charge in 2009) NPAT of negative Rs. 3.2Bn in 2009. In addition to strong EBITDA performance, the improvement in NPAT was underpinned by a 65% YoY decrease in finance costs following the deployment of surplus operating cash for the repayment of borrowings. The year 2010 also posted foreign exchange gains of Rs. 686Mn against an exchange gain of Rs. 8Mn in 2009. The Company NPAT however displayed negative growth of 18% on a QoQ basis, in line with the reduction in EBITDA, higher depreciation and lower foreign exchange gain during the same period.

DBN and DTV Consolidate Performance Improvements

DBN featuring the Fixed Telephony, Fixed Broadband and Data Transmission businesses of the Dialog Group continued to consolidate its positive performance trend recording its third successive quarter of positive EBITDA. DBN EBITDA was recorded at Rs. 285Mn, for 2010 a significant 169% improvement compared to 2009. EBITDA improvement was driven in the main by substantial reductions in operating and direct costs accruing from cost rescaling programmes implemented over the past quarters. DBN EBITDA in Q4 2010 show a reduction of 32% on a QoQ basis, due to an exceptional provision of Rs. 100Mn with respect to VAT recovery in the context of the emergent VAT exempt environment in the Telecommunications sector. On the backdrop of lower EBITDA and the ongoing acceleration of depreciation pertaining to DBN’s CDMA and Wimax networks, NPAT was recorded at negative Rs. 348Mn and negative Rs. 1.3Bn in Q4 2010 and FY 2010 respectively. Accordingly, NPAT for FY 2010 recorded an improvement of 50% compared to 2009.

DTV demonstrated similar consolidation of Performance improvements, recording an EBITDA of Rs. 343Mn for 2010, an improvement of 159% and 243% on QoQ and YoY basis respectively. EBITDA growth YoY was underpinned by a strong increase in usage revenues on the backdrop of reductions in operating and direct costs accruing from a continued focus on strategic cost rescaling initiatives. Accordingly, DTV reported a NPAT for FY 2010 of negative Rs. 154Mn a strong improvement in profitability of 80% relative to 2009.

Healthy Free Cash Flows Bolster Group Balance Sheet

Group Operating cash flows totalled Rs. 14.28Bn for the year of 2010, up 32% relative to 2009. Strong operating cash flows combined with a prudent and strategic approach to capital expenditure, have underpinned the generation of free cash flow of Rs. 8.2Bn for the year of 2010 relative to the negative free cash flow of Rs. 133Mn in the previous year. Positive free cash flows were directed towards de-leveraging the Company’s balance sheet, resulting in a reduction of the Group’s total debt outstanding by 17% YoY. Accordingly, the Dialog Group continued to maintain a structurally strong balance sheet with the Gross Debt to EBITDA ratio improving from 2.6x in 2009 to 1.8x in 2010.

On the back drop of a strong balance sheet, free cash position and improved profitability Dialog Axiata effected a repayment of USD 10Mn against advances due to principal shareholder Axiata Group BhD. Subsequent to the aforesaid repayment, the USD and SLR advances outstanding to Axiata Group amount to USD 37.5Mn and Rs. 3,724Mn respectively.

Proposed Dividend FY2010

In the light of the Company’s strong turnaround in performance, the Board of Directors of Dialog Axiata, resolved, to propose for consideration by the Shareholders of the Company, a cash dividend to ordinary shareholders of twenty cents (Rs. 0.20) per share totalling to Rs. 1.6Bn. The said dividend would be exempt from tax in the hands of the shareholders. The dividend so proposed is subject to the approval of the shareholders at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Company, the date pertaining to which would be notified in due course.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Airtel has changed its logo!

welcome to the new world of airtel.

our new international identity has been specially crafted to appeal to a more dynamic & demanding audience. at the same time, it retains the core elements of what has made our brand a market leader.

our unique symbol is an interpretation of the ‘a’ in airtel. the curved shape & the gentle highlights on the red color make it warm & inviting, almost as if it were a living object. it represents a dynamic force of unparalleled energy that brings us and our customers closer.

our specially designed logo type is modern, vibrant & friendly. it signals our resolve to be accessible, while the use of all lowercase is our recognition for the need for humility.

red is part of our heritage. it is the color of energy & passion that expresses the dynamism that has made airtel the success it is today, in india, and now on the global stage.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Bharti to partner Ericsson and Huawei to deploy world class mobile network in Bangladesh

• Cutting edge network now to provide convergent multimedia services and expand coverage in rural Bangladesh
• To enable enhanced voice quality and faster data access to users
• To support the success of Digital Bangladesh programme promoted by the Government

New Delhi, October 7, 2010 : Bharti Airtel, a leading global telecommunications company with operations in 19 countries across Asia and Africa, today announced an agreement with Ericsson and Huawei to deploy state-of-the-art network across Bangladesh. The agreement is modeled on Bharti’s highly successful managed networks business model in India and Sri Lanka. Today’s announcement will enable Bharti to take its network deep into Bangladesh and contribute to the growth of telecom in the country with affordable services. Bharti acquired 70 percent stake in Warid Telecom in January 2010.

With the advanced networks from Ericsson and Huawei, Bharti will be able to offer its customers enhanced voice quality and faster data access to facilitate internet take-up. Bharti’s agreement with the two companies includes network design, planning, implementation, project management as well as material and services for the base station sites and microwave transmission. It will also enable advanced business applications, more entertainment options and also provide a platform for evolved mobile services for a wider area in rural Bangladesh.

Under this contract, Ericsson will deliver and manage majority of the company’s network capacity. Ericsson will expand and upgrade circuit and packet core network, energy efficient radio access network with evolved EDGE technology, Intelligent Network, country-wide microwave mobile backhaul and Business Support Systems (BSS). Ericsson will also supply its MSC-S Blade Cluster which supports multiple core network functions on a common blade type; a single blade can handle 1 million subscribers. Ericsson's latest packet-enabled microwave backhaul solution MINI-LINK TN and High-Density BSC (a future-proof and highly scalable radio access solution) are included in the deal. Ericsson will supply majority of the Radio network with state of the art Multi Standard Radio that consumes significantly lower power.

The other network partner, Huawei will swap the existing radio network in the eastern areas of Bangladesh with state of art of technology which has better quality and performance, is more energy efficient and lower in OPEX.

These partnerships will also ensure that the core and mobile backhaul networks are 3G ready, in order to reduce time to market and enable the fast roll out of 3G services at a later date.

About Bharti Airtel Limited : Bharti Airtel Limited is a leading global telecommunications company with operations in 19 countries across Asia and Africa. The company offers mobile voice & data services, fixed line, high speed broadband, IPTV, DTH, turnkey telecom solutions for enterprises and national & international long distance services to carriers. Bharti Airtel has been ranked among the six best performing technology companies in the world by BusinessWeek. Bharti Airtel had over 188 million customers across its operations at the end of August 2010.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Bharti Airtel crosses 100 million customers mark

Becomes the 3rd largest single country mobile services operator in the world and 6th largest single country integrated telco in the world
Announces a series of Network augmentation and Customer service initiatives
 •  To roll out over 100,000 BTS sites across the country 
•  To establish a State of the Art Customer Service Management Centre. 
• 100,000 Airtel Service Centres to be set up in rural India by March 2010

New Delhi, May 15, 2009:  Bharti Airtel, Asia’s leading  Integrated Telecom services provider, today announced that it has crossed the  100 million customers mark. This milestone makes the company the 3rd  largest single country mobile services operator and sixth largest in-country integrated telecom operator in  the world. 
“The Indian Telecom sector, seen as providing the most affordable services in the world, has grown by leaps and bounds in the last decade. We are proud to have led the telecom revolution that made a positive impact on the lives of people in every corner of the country as well as the Indian economy. This remarkable journey to 100 million customers is a testament to the vision and commitment of a company that benchmarks itself with the best in the world”, said 
Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman & Group CEO, Bharti Enterprises. “We dedicate this achievement to the nation. This milestone reiterates the emergence of India as one of the world’s top telecom markets and we are delighted to be at the forefront of its growth. On this occasion, we would like to thank all our customers, partners and the Government of India for their constant support.”   

The company had crossed the 75 million customer mark in August 2008 and 50 million mark in October 2007, making it one of the fastest growing telcos in the world. The first 25 million was achieved in July 2006.

Bharti Airtel announced a series of network augmentation and customer service initiatives. On the network front, Airtel will roll out 100,000 BTS sites by this year end to set up wider and deeper network coverage across the country. This will improve network quality and resilience; build redundancies and business continuity, to ensure that Airtel customers continue to experience a world-class seamless network for voice and data services. The company is planning to transform its entire fixed line network to IP/Broadband over a phased manner. This transformation will enable Bharti Airtel’s transformation to Next Generation Networks, offering advanced services like High-speed internet, Triple Play, Media-rich VAS, MPLS, VPN for both Retail and Business customers. 

On the customer service front, Airtel has started a set of initiatives to empower the customer and currently its Self Service Option over SMS already has over 100 million hits in a month. It is also leveraging cutting-edge technology to build a state of the art Service Management Centre which will dynamically monitor and manage services to ensure that customers are always kept informed proactively. 

Around 60% of Airtel’s customer additions come from rural areas. For the rural customers, Airtel has already set up 14,000 Airtel Service Centres and going forward the company is looking at having over 100,000 such centres across the country by March, 2010.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Hello Sri Lanka” says Airtel

Launches 2.5G and 3.5G mobile services Ushers in a new era of affordability and simplicity in mobile services in Sri Lanka
Removes the barriers of peak and off peak call rates, within network and outside network call rates and offers customers freedom to speak.
Offers unconditional free incoming calls to all customers
50% lower rates while roaming to India
State-of-the-art HSPA technology backed by world-class customer care
Fastest mobile network roll-out by any operator in Sri Lanka

Colombo, January 12, 2009: Bharti Airtel Lanka (Pvt.) Ltd, a subsidiary of Bharti Airtel – one of the leading integrated telecommunications service providers in Asia, today announced the launch of its mobile services in Sri Lanka under the Airtel brand. The services have been launched on a state-of-the-art 3.5G network. 

Airtel has launched a suite of innovative services and redefined affordability by offering attractive call rates. What truly sets these tariff plans apart is the simplicity and ease of understanding for the customer, including features such as unconditional free incoming calls.

Airtel’s simple tariffs liberate the customer from the concept of peak and off-peak call rates by offering standard tariffs throughout the day and allowing them to speak freely. For the first time, Sri Lankan mobile customers will not have to bother about within network and outside network calls concept as Airtel will offer uniform call charges to any network. The company will also offer unique and customer relevant Value Added Services. 3.5G services will be available to Airtel customers in Colombo, Kandy and Galle during the first phase of launch.

On the occasion Mr. Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman and Managing Director, Bharti Airtel said, “We are extremely honoured to present Airtel to Sri Lanka. At Bharti, we have always believed in undertaking business projects that are transformational and have a positive impact on the society at large. Bharti Airtel has also set global benchmarks in telecom services, be it our unique business model based on outsourcing or innovative products and services.” 

“We are delighted at being given this opportunity to serve the people of Sri Lanka and contribute to the growth story of the country. It will be Airtel’s sincere endeavour to drive affordability in the Sri Lankan market and empower more and more people to experience the benefits of mobile internet and telephony. We are confident that with our experience of serving around 88 million customers, we will make a positive impact on the telecom landscape of Sri Lanka.”

Bharti Airtel plans to invest around USD 200 million in its Sri Lanka operations. In just over an year, the company has commissioned a sizeable state-of-the-art network. This is the fastest network roll-out of its scale by any mobile operator in Sri Lanka. This will enable Bharti Airtel to fulfill its promise of providing world-class mobile services at affordable rates to customers in Sri Lanka. 

In line with the innovative business model based on outsourcing that it pioneered, Bharti Airtel has created an ecosystem of partners for its Sri Lanka operations. It has entered into a three-year managed network deal with Huawei, 
partnered with IBM to manage its comprehensive IT infrastructure and application requirements, and selected iSmart Timex as its customer care partner.

Ms. Amali Nanayakkara, CEO, Bharti Airtel Lanka added “We are excited at the prospect of providing customers with greater affordability and superior services as the newest mobile operator in Sri Lanka. Our product offering to customers will also usher in an era of simplified tariffs and customer experience. Bharti Airtel is grateful to all its strategic partners and regulatory bodies including the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka for enabling a speedy and efficient launch.” 

The mobile services from Airtel are available with the number prefix 075. Airtel has also launched a glittering campaign across media to mark its launch. The company inaugurated one large Airtel Store on Galle Road in Colombo today to supplement its network of 12,000 retail outlets and 23 Airtel Stores across Sri Lanka. Customers can also reach Airtel on 075 5555555 or visit

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Bharti Airtel announces apex level organisation changes

Another major step towards further empowering the top management team
Focus on strengthening business operations in the highly competitive consumer businesses as well as B2B/Enterprise business
Creation of factories and shared services to derive ‘One Airtel’ synergies and higher productivity
Focus on development of new revenue streams and innovative products and services
March 12, 2009: Bharti Airtel Limited, Asia’s leading telecommunications services provider, today announced key apex level organisational changes aimed at laying the foundation for the company’s next phase of growth. The new structure has been designed to manage future growth opportunities, exploit scale & building cost synergies, while continuing to derive advantage from on- the- ground focus on sales and enhanced levels of customer service.

Making the announcement Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman & Managing Director, Bharti Airtel said “Over the last couple of years, we have been able to build a world-class organisation. The company has grown not just in terms of revenue and market share but also in terms of strengthened processes, capabilities and governance. It has been our endeavour to empower our top management team, which has performed very well and is amongst the finest in the telecom world. Today, we have taken another step in further empowering the top management team and laid a strong foundation for embarking on the next phase of our exciting growth journey.”

Manoj Kohli, CEO & Joint Managing Director, Bharti Airtel will increasingly focus on strategy development, governance and organisation development. He will lead the overall transformation programme including creation of factories and shared services with the objective of building the right capabilities to enable the company succeed in the next phase of its growth. He will also provide additional focus on building the B2B powerhouse.

Sanjay Kapoor has been elevated from President – Mobile Services to a newly created position of Deputy CEO. In his new role, Sanjay will lead the Mobile, Telemedia and DTH businesses. Sanjay will report to Manoj Kohli.

Having led the transformation at the Telemedia business, Atul Bindal will take over as President – Mobile Services. K Srinivas who was Executive Director (East) – Mobile Services and in-charge of Sri Lanka operations will take over as Joint President - Telemedia Services. New business verticals such as M-commerce and M-entertainment etc. are being created to generate new revenue streams.

Atul and K Srinivas will report to Sanjay Kapoor.

David Nishball will continue as President - Enterprise Services and will report to Manoj Kohli. On the Enterprise side, the company’s aim is to build a B2B powerhouse over the next 5 years with enhanced focus on global wholesale voice and data, advanced Enterprise voice & mobility services, Enterprise solutions, Managed services and lead industry transformation projects