SL telecom sector gets US $ 69 m investments
Sri Lanka’s telecommunication sector received a record US $ 69
million investment last year. The industry received this boost from five
leading operators, Sri Lanka Telecom, Dialog Axiata, Etisalat, Bharathi
Airtel and Mobitel. The biggest investment to the sector was made by
Bharti Airtel Lanka, a subsidiary of Bharti Airtel, one of the world’s
largest telecom service providers, which was the fifth player in the
local mobile market. The company invested US $ 49.9 last year.
Malaysian based Dialog Axiata also invested heavily last year to the
tune of US $31.8 million.
The proposed Nelum Pokuna telecom tower
An official from the company said that the company’s main focus last
year was laying of the fiber optic cable.
This was mainly to increase its broad penetration and to give faster
broadband, he said.
Dialog Axiata is also being recognised as the first company under its
aegis to reach the Foreign Direct Investment milestone of USD one
billion. Dialog Axiata surpassed the USD one billion cumulative
investment milestone as at December 31, 2010 and at the completion of
the rapid network expansion programme would reach a total investment of
approximately USD 1.2 billion since inception.
Dialog also entered a Share Purchase Agreement (SPA) to acquire 100
percent of ordinary shares of the wireless fixed line operator Suntel
Ltd from its current shareholders.
The certain execution of the acquisition will follow the meeting of
conditions precedent to the transaction defined in the SPA. Meanwhile
Etisalat too made heavy investments last year pumping US $ 30.8 million.
This was mainly to widen their coverage and for other infrastructure
The Dubai based firm acquired the Sri Lankan Tigo unit form
Luxembourg listed Millicom for USD 207 million and since then have had
invested aggressively with the main focus on the expansion of their 3G
The Sri Lanka Telecom’s Mobitel, last year focus too was on the
laying of the fiber optic line in a bid to match competition and had
invested US $ 16.7 million last year.
Sri Lanka’s telecommunication giant Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) plans to
further invest Rs five billion in its mobile subsidiary, Mobitel.
In a disclosure at the Colombo Stock Exchange, the SLT announced that
funds invested will be used by Mobitel for expansion in terms of
coverage, capacity, and network modernization.
“This investment which will be on staggered basis is expected to be
made within a period of six months,” the company said.
The Sri Lanka Telecom invested US $ 8.4 million last year.
In April 2011, BOI granted approval to phase II of Telecommunication,
IP, Broadband, Infrastructure Expansion [TIBIX] project.
With this approval, SLT is entitled to import project related capital
goods on duty free basis during the project implementation period of two
years. SLT’s spend for the expansion project will exceed US$ 187