In May 2006 Airtel launched a Tamil SMS solution developed by MicroImage, a Sri Lankan software firm, in the State of Tamilnadu.
Tamil and Sinhala SMS are offered in Sri Lanka by Dialog Telekom and Celltel Lanka.
The service is based on a key-entry system enabling a customer to type the SMS as fast as in English and “a one touch function guiding them using the key pad to type Tamil letters”, according to Airtel. “The subscriber needs to download the application free of charge from ‘Airtel Live’ on to their handsets. Those receiving the Tamil SMS also need to download the application in order to read it in Tamil. In the event of the recipient not downloading it, the message is automatically transliterated and the Tamil words can be read using English letters.”
This news may be of interest to our readers who have been engaging in lively debate on standardizing Sinhala for IT applications.