Monday, January 12, 2009

Bharti Airtel to launch mobile services in Sri Lanka on January 12

Bharti Airtel will launch services in Sri Lanka on January 12, becoming the fifth cellular player in the country.

Airtel, India's largest telecom player, will simultaneously roll out 2G and 3G services in Sri Lanka.

The company on Monday announced its Lanka launch with ads in local newspapers. Ahead of Airtel's entry, other operators have slashed tariff rates and are offering discounts with cellular connections.

Airtel is investing $200 million in the Sri Lankan operations and is replicating the outsourcing model in the island country. "It is an extension of the same business model. The company is leveraging its Indian partnerships," said an analyst.

Airtel has outsoured IT operations to IBM while Huawei is rolling out networks. Bharti Telesoft, a part of the Bharti group, will offer value added services.

Airtel will compete wtih Telekom Malaysia's Dialog Telekom, Tigo, a part of Millicom International Cellular, Hutchison Telecom's Hutch and Mobitel of Sri Lanka Telecom.