Maldives is a country with a population of around 300,000, around 32,000 fixed phones and around 232,000 mobiles [this has to level off, because pretty much the entire population is now using mobiles].
It has a lot of high-end hotel rooms, but the USP of the tourist industry there is not business travel, it is utter and complete relaxation. And relaxed people are not known to generate lots of data and voice traffic.
All this is relevant to the question of what will go through the two cables landing in Maldives by 2007. Reliance/FLAG is already live, I believe.
Maldives did not switch to education in Dhivehi like Sri Lanka did, and as a result they have a significant population of young people ready to work in BPOs. So is it possible that Maldives is investing in cables in order to go into BPOs in a big way? Perhaps, some Sri Lankan or Indian entrepreneurs should get a running start . . .
One would also hope that all this construction will have some effect on the prices of IPLCs out of Colombo [international private leased circuits]. My understanding is that SLTL’s IPLC prices are many multiples higher than those offered by Indian vendors. Unless prices come down, the cables can be built, but will they come?
A 20 million dollar joint venture with Sri Lanka Telecom and Dhiraagu Telecom of Maldives, the 850 kilometre cable is due to be commissioned in the first quarter of 2007.“This cable has a 10 Gigabit capacity, but it can be expanded to 1 terabit because there is a possibility that we can connect to the African side, via Maurtius, Ascension Islands, Madagascar and also South Africa,” Suhei Anan Chief Executive of Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) told Lanka Business Online shortly after a cable laying ship set off towards the Maldives from the West coast of Sri Lanka.