SATRC Council chairmanship handed over:
Key decisions taken to improve telecommunication industry
Telecommunications Regulatory Commission Sri Lanka (TRCSL) Director
General, Priyantha Kariyapperuma said that several important decisions
pertaining to the telecommunications industry of the region were taken
during the Council meeting and the Action Plan Phase III was declared.
The chairmanship of the Council was also handed over to the TRCSL
Telecommunications Regulatory Commission Sri Lanka (TRCSL)
Director General, Priyantha Kariyapperuma addresses the
media at the conclusion of the 11th South Asian
Telecommunications Regulators’ Council (SATRC) conference
yesterday. Picture by Saliya Rupasinghe
He was speaking at the 11th South Asian Telecommunications
Regulators’ Council (SATRC) which concluded yesterday after a three-day
conference in Colombo.
Two new topics such as Civil Initiative on Internet Policy (CIIP) and
cyber security and the assurance of quality mobile handsets to South
Asian consumers had also been discussed.
Discussions are also being held with the service providers to
implement affordable IDD tariffs as well as international roaming rates
for consumers in the region soon. Connectivity is the key for
development, he said.
Kariyapperuma said that one of the most important topics discussed
was the implementation of a uniform rate for calls made within the
This was proposed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa at last year’s SAARC
meeting in Colombo. The regulators agreed to the proposal during the
11th SATRC meeting and we are currently discussing the possibilities.
He said there is a population of over two billion in the South Asian
region. During the past six years, the number of handsets used within
the region grew from 42 million to 540 million.
Although these are developing countries, we have crossed great
milestones together in terms of telecommunication development. This is
also the main deciding factor in the enhancement of quality life.
Three working groups had been appointed to deal with the specific
fields of the industry and various countries had been appointed to chair
each working group such as Policy and Regulations to India, Spectrum to
Iran and Network and Services to Sri Lanka.
A group of capacity-building personnel had also been appointed and
will be chaired by Pakistan. Apart from the regional countries of South
Asia, Iran also participated this year as a member of SATRC.
He said that the TRCSL is currently having discussions with the local
telecommunications providers on introducing Long Term Evolution (LTE).
LTE comprises CDMA and GSM technologies as future enhancements to be
introduced to Sri Lanka. Amendments will be made to Sri Lanka’s
Telecommunications Act and a new Act will also be implemented.
The main objective of the gathering is to promote harmony amongst the
telecommunication regulators of the region and prepare policies for the
betterment of the industry with least regulatory barriers in the region,