Posts filed under ‘Tigo’
The Head of Planning of the National Telecommunications Commission (Conatel), Carlos Barahona, says private telecoms operators invested a record USD650 million in their Honduran networks in 2008, up from USD356 million in 2007 and USD133.6 million a year earlier. Speaking to the El Heraldo newspaper, Barahona said that he expects the trend will continue in the medium-term as Tigo, Claro, Digicel and Hondutel’s fledgling mobile arm Honducel fight for new subscribers in a market where cellular penetration reached close to 75% at the end of last year. At that date the incumbents’ combined user base reached 5,823,915 active lines, up from 4.184 million a year earlier.
Digicel earmarked a reported USD450 million in its networks and services, including the payment of USD80.1 million for the licence it won in late 2007. Tigo also invested around USD150 million to expand its network, the paper said. In 2009 Digicel is expected to invest between USD150-USD200 million to further improve its reach and service quality, while Tigo has reportedly set aside USD100-USD150 million and Claro USD50-USD100 million.
India’s Bharti Airtel launched 2G and 3G mobile services in Sri Lanka under the Airtel brand yesterday as planned, after investing half of a USD200 million network rollout budget taking it up to 2012. Airtel is the fifth cellular player on the island, competing with Malaysian-owned TM International’s Dialog Telekom, Tigo Sri Lanka, owned by Millicom International Cellular, Hutchison Telecom International’s local unit Hutch Lanka and Mobitel, a subsidiary of incumbent telco Sri Lanka Telecom. The Indian-backed cellco is expected to compete mainly on price. Commenting on the development, Bharti Group Chairman Sunil Mittal said: ‘It will be Airtel’s endeavour to drive affordability in the Sri Lankan market…We are confident that with our experience of 88 million customers, we will make a positive impact on the telecom land space of Sri Lanka.’ The company is offering simple tariff plans which do away with peak and off-peak call rates by offering standard tariffs throughout the day and night. Bharti has previously launched overseas mobile services on three other islands: the Seychelles, Jersey and Guernsey (both in the UK Channel Islands).
In other news, the country’s third largest cellco by user base, Tigo Sri Lanka reached two million subscribers by the end of 2008, reports Lanka Business Online. A statement from the company, formerly known as Celltel Lanka, attributed the growth to ‘network expansion, the strength of the brand and excellent customer service…The year 2008 saw heavy investment by the company to expand the network adding an average of 40 towers a month.’ Rapid growth in the island’s mobile market has slowed in recent years and increased competition saw all operators lowering prices and advertising aggressively to retain customers or win new ones. Tigo, like its rivals, offers free incoming calls and per second billing.
Bharti Airtel has announced the launch of its Sri Lanka operations: via its subsidiary Bharti Airtel Lanka Pvt Ltd, Airtel is offering 2.5G and 3.5G services (HSPA). The services that have been launched are, predictably, GSM. The company will be investing around $200 million in its Sri Lanka operations.
What is interesting about the launch are the changes they claim to have made to standard tariff offerings in Sri Lanka – things that we here in India tend to take for granted:
– Same tariffs for peak and off-peak hours (i.e. doing away with the concept altogether)
– Unconditional free incoming calls
– Uniform call charges to any network
The company is also leveraging its network in India by offering 50% lower rates while roaming in India. Airtels network has been rolled out in Lanka over a period of a year – they have 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.
Free Sim Card
Airtel took out ads in Sri Lanka offering Free Sim Cards between January 12 and 25; the connection gets activated on a recharge of Rs. 100. There have, apparently, been long queues outside Airtel’s office at Narahenpita, Colombo. So a price war is beginning in Sri Lanka now.
Airtel’s Sri Lanka site appears to be a work in progress, but we gleaned the following from the site:
– I-Moved is a service which allows users that have signed up for Airtel services to inform others.
– RingBack Tones: while no specific VAS company has been mentioned on the site, a statement on their site “BTSL will provide the backend pages for this and we need “Airtel Ring back Tune Search” as a button to click.” indicates that Bharti Telesoft may be powering CRBT for Airtel Lanka
– SMS services – the usual: News, Jokes, Astrology, Lottery Results, Sports, Health and Stock Markets.
– Voice SMS
– Voice Mail
– Video Media Portal: dial 7561 as a Video call for the video portal
– 3G Broadband (mobile phone access)
– Phone Backup Service
– 3G Data Services (USB/Router based)
Why Enter Sri Lanka?
The Teledensity in Sri Lanka appears to be quite high at 61.3%, with 45.7 mobile phones per 100 people and 9,253,067 subscribers. There are already4 other mobile operators in Sri Lanka, and the country has 3G:
Some market stats (Q2 2008):
Total Telecom subscribers (Fixed+Mobile): 12,399,024
Total Teledensity (Fixed & Cellular): 61.3%
Fixed Line Phones: 3,145,957
Fixed Line Teledensity: 15.5%, 36.4% in Colombo District
Cellular Mobile Subscribers: 9,253,067
Mobile Phones per 100 people: 45.7
Internet & Email Subscribers: 215,000