Sri Lanka: Bharti Airtel rates out

Posted by on January 12, 2009  /  57 Comments

It looks pretty simple. Incoming free. Outgoing Rs. 2 per minute (to any phone) Local SMS Rs. 1.00 (to any) International SMS Rs. 5.

Phone charges are same for prepaid and post paid. Cannot figure out why one should go for post-paid.

There is also a broadband package for Rs. 300. (Minimum commitment)

Download the rate sheet for more details.


  1. Correction again,
    I haven’t confused the cost of E1 links, POIs, ports…etc with the termination charges. And also don’t confuse the ‘cost’ with ‘payments’.

    The current SKA regime in Sri Lanka, applicable not only for ‘termination charges’. But also for all the other costs of interconnection. In Sri Lanka, the originating party doesn’t pay a single cent to terminating party for interconnection services. Give me an example if that is not the case. Two parties have to bear their own costs. NO PAYMENT is made by originating party to terminating party, whatever the traffic imbalance is.

    Thanks for your feedback, Correct me if i’m wrong.

  2. I do not follow the details of the Sri Lankan telecom industry, so you may be right on the money side. But I allowed for that (“Even if they agree to a settlement that nets off for the most part,”).

    One party has to estimate the capacity that is required (usually, this is the new operator seeking interconnection) and the other must provide it. Whatever the payment arrangements are, this estimation, its accuracy and when the capacity is actually provided are the causes of congestion.

    One can make the estimation in good faith or not; one can provide the capacity in good faith or not; one can give the capacity quickly or slowly. All these actions are open to interpretation. This is where the regulator comes in.

  3. Totally agree and thank you very much for your feedback.

    One thing is clear that, without knowing where the fault is, it is unfair to put the blame on other operators about the interconnect capacity since just because you can’t make calls from Airtel. I doubt even Airtel did a proper forecast and asked for adequate interconnection capacity before the launch.

    Another point, now Airtel may realize the concept of ‘peak’ & ‘off peak’ as well because now they are enjoying the consequences of flat call rate over 24 hours of the day.

    Good luck Airtel

    May god save the market

  4. Oh, my dear Airtel,
    What a Shame ? Open admission of your incapability
    Open admission of your failure in Sri Lanka.
    At least now you’ve realized nthe difference between India & Sri Lanka.
    Airtel, you can’t survive here like this,
    That’s what said in my earlier comment, what they know is go and cry in front of mummy.

    Ooops, sorry, not only in front of mummy, in front of entire world saying
    “Help me…Help me…It hurts…Those guys hit me…punish them please….Otherwise i will cry forever…pleaseeeee….”

    Airtel, Don’t be childish. Why don’t you go to courts ?
    Why are you exposing your internal issues to general public.
    Stop misleading customers. You suffer because of your ‘Stupid’ ‘Simple’ tariff plan which free ride on others’ networks. Why don’t you give ‘Airtel-Airtel’ low tariff and try to solve this by yourselves.

    What we can conclude here is that ‘YOU ARE INCAPABLE’


    “…One month after the Indian mobile company’s entry into the Sri Lankan market amidst much fanfare it is already facing stiff alleged “unfair” competition by competitors due to the non-provision of seamless interconnectivity between local networks, Bharti Airtel said yesterday.

    With no experience of similar competition even in India – according to Airtel, the operator viewed that the issue was mainly due to local mobile operators virtually ‘choking’ Airtel customers from connecting up with subscribers on other local networks.

    Currently Airtel customers are experiencing call congestion when calling other networks, requiring them to make multiple attempts to make a successful call, Bharti Airtel Executive Director K. Srinivas told the Daily Financial Times. He explained that the congestion is prevalent during peak hours, as a result of which 80% of Airtel calls are lost at this time. This is because the point of interconnection has not been provided by other operators, who have been requested to do so.

    “We gave projection for capacity since November last year but we have not got even 50% of the capacity,” Mr. Srinivas said. He noted that either the networks were performing at an “extremely slow” pace, but “we believe it is played deliberately”.

    It was pointed out by him that the delay of implementation is a breach of licence. The guiding provisions for providing required capacity and providing physical access to other operator sites can be found in the Interconnection Rules 2003, which receives its authority from the Sri Lanka Telecommunication Act No. 25 of 1991. By law, other operators are therefore bound to provide these requirements so that the customer benefits at the end of the day, by being able to talk freely within networks. The Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (TRC) was informed of this “unfair” competition last week and the commission is trying to tackle this issue

    Mr. Srinivas stated that congestion problem was observed with all other operators except Hutch, while Lanka Bell was noted to have provided the necessary capacity last month.

    The TRC intends to fight this in the marketplace and Airtel pointed out that the Director General of TRC had assured the newest and fifth entrant to the highly competitive mobile market that they will iron out matters following discussions with other players. Mr. Srinivas said that they have spoken to Dialog and other operators as well in this regard although there has been no evidence of the implementation of the binding agreement within the networks to provide the required capacity and interconnections.

    Airtel believes that the competition it provided with the lowest tariffs here had created a stir in the mobile market and thus Airtel termed this resistance as an “unfair ploy to block competition”.

    This is the first time that the Indian mobile company has had to face such a tough attitude from competitors; “I don’t think we have faced this kind” of unfair competition in India, Mr. Srinivas alleged. However, he was uncertain as to whether this was a joint effort by all operators or whether it was carried out deliberately by some. “I hope not,” he speculated, adding that “if this should continue, it will be unlikely that customers will want to be with you.” Nonetheless, Sri Lanka’s mobile telecommunications sector is a mature one in global terms, with a long history (of about 20 years) of operation. Competition is therefore only to be expected – especially in the arrival of a large foreign player – as individual operators fight commercially to ensure that their patch of the turf is not impinged upon. It is hoped that competition will ultimately bring prospective benefits to the consumer – for which TRC too will have to ensure ‘fair play’ soon….”

  5. Is TRC a subsidiary of Airtel???

    Isn’t the duty of the regulator to minimise market inequilibrium?

    If Airtel is so concern about this matter, why don’t they agree for a interconnect feee. There had been a interconnect fee among the operators ( With mutual agreement) and Aitel with help of TRC overuled it. Had a interconnect fee been there you don’t have to cry this much.

    Airtel , Shame about you.. What you get back is what you give….

  6. This is exactly what i meant in all of my earlier comments. Now Airtel has realized their stupidity. A lot more to come. This is just the beginning. As mentioned above, Airtel is responsible for everything happens around them. They never can just put blame on other operators. Airtel was always against the interconnect fee which was charged earlier amongst mobile operators. TRC has initiated a process to introduce interconnect, but it ended up with Airtel’s wish. Now it is Sender Keeps All (SKA) amongst all operators. Then obviously you have to face this. Because other operators haven’t built their networks to support your traffic, specially when they get nothing in return. Everybody try to protect their interests.

    Airtel, if you can’t fight here, at least you should collaborate. Without either of them, you have one option remaining.

    Say ‘Bye Sri Lanka’

  7. v shud 1st welcom the idea of airtel for launchng here 2 aid us,n nw though it has turned 2 b a failure,v shud decently say gud bye n said na guys!!!!