Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Sri Lanka's mobile operators reject Airtel claims

Sri Lanka's four mobile operators rejected claims by Airtel, India's biggest mobile operator which is to become the new mobile operator in Sri Lanka, that the industry was anti-competitive and blocking new players.
In a joint statement Dialog, Mobitel, Tigo and Hutch said, “As strong believers in competition and the resulting dividends to consumers and market growth, Sri Lanka’s mobile operators welcome additional competition.”
“It is also their aspiration that the industry would remain consistent in its focus on quantifiable and real delivery in the best interest of the consumer,” the statement said.
The response came when Airtel said that other mobile operators in Sri Lanka were not providing interconnection to Airtel ‘on the same terms as they practice among themselves,’ among other charges.
“Distractions in the form of inter-operator aspersions in particular those which are misleading can only serve to disrupt an industry which is a regional leader and can serve to undo the good work carried out by regulators and investors alike rather than enable further growth across and beyond the 50% (per-capita penetration) milestone on which the industry and Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL) is focused upon with much anticipation and excitement,” the statement added.

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