Sri Lanka: Bharti Airtel rates out

Posted 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. Just wondering how these tarrif got approved from the regulator??? For me it is below the cost and penetrating pricing model.

    It seems Airtel is getting a “Free Ride” to other networks in the absence if interconnect…

    it is a boomrang effect to the existing operators.. Airtel has a Free Ride to other networks…. the very reason to offer such a low tarrif and which could grab the sizeabke share of the incumbant operators.. as they are unable to drop the prices since they have to maintain the network for free rides from Airtel…

    the result ??? low prices with poor quality!!!!

    Prof, appreciate your view on this??

  2. Not sure there is that much cause for concern. Yes, when a new operator gets sender keeps all right at the start, there is a bit of an advantage. But they have a lot of disadvantages as well. LKR 2 a minute is not that cheap. And Bangladesh operators have been offering these and lower prices for some time with good returns.

  3. what about international call rates

  4. Lasith Wickramasinghe

    Normaly…..I like it….Tkzzzzzzzzzzz

  5. these fucking airtel fuckers ate our country.

    i hate airtel

    incoming free naa ne patta huththi
    thopi kiuwe nam kohomada wesige puthaala

  6. even their prepaid plans have a monthly rental of 50. cant really understand why. anyways even with higher rates, per second billing systems of other operators make the total expenditure lower

  7. Simply USELESS…!!!


  9. I would like to know the IDD rates. Any Idia?

  10. Tariff details seem to have been taken off the site. Wonder why.

  11. Dialog is going to advertise their price slashing in weekend papers/ Await.

  12. Nothing much from Airtel…
    Anyway heard that Mobitel going to cut their prices very soon, eventhough they have superior network over Airtel, just to reinforce that they are the most affordable player in the market as always they have been since 2003.
    Airtel, you are completely a JOKE…
    why don’t you pack your bags to leave…?

  13. hii
    hav u gays got any idea about there data packages…
    it is data that will dominate the market in the near future.
    All the current 3G players are highly promoting data plans.
    Eg:(mobitell’s-dairly delight & dialg’s-university students pkg)

  14. Batman: Not sure why Gays would have any special knowledge on this subject. Maybe you could ask Robin.

  15. That’s Enough For Now
    Thank You

  16. Yes Aqeel, Rs.2 is for now.
    From March 2009 onwards, it will be Rs.2.50
    Then that will be enough for you, isn’t it ?

  17. airtel is good time to coming in sri lanka.
    this rate are very good.

  18. airtel offering 3.2mbps hspa unlimited package only for 1499 paying 2300rs for i think airtel will take over everything real soon…..

  19. Idiots, Still Following Airtel
    Go and see Airtel web, they have removed tariff plans from the web site.

    They ask people to goto one of their shop

    Why ????

    They have’t got what they want. They just want to queues of people waiting in front of their shops, begging for a free SIM without know a shit about the package. Shame on you Sri Lankans…

    Airtel, your strategies won’t work here in Sri Lanka. Just pack your bags n Leave…!!!

    We say “Ayubowan Sri Lanka” not “Hello Sri Lanka”

    Shall we say now “Bye India”

  20. you fools.they’ve already got over 2 million customers just in a week.can you guys even imagine?????
    come with facts & figures.why are we paying 5 or 4 rupees 4 a minute,if they offering 2 rs per min???

  21. Airtel’s product offering actually seems quite competitive against Dialog’s KIT pre-paid package…although the latter offers per second billing, My10 & lifetime discount features, its call rates per minute are Rs3 for D2D and Rs5 for D2ND

    Compare this with Rs2 per minute for ANY outgoing call on Airtel.

    While Dialog’s post-paid package offers 1000 minutes free D2D per month, the bulk of the market still is pre-paid users.

  22. Had first hand experience today, CALL CLARITY is COOL ! ! ! You realise that you are under local roaming and that your outgoing and incoming services are barred, you call Customer Care. It takes years to even reach the Customer Care, and the customer agent keeps telling you in a rough voice ” I don’t hear you sir ” ! ! !

  23. Had my first experience with Airtel as well, i got it via a vendor while walking and they had got fresh numbers, to tell you the truth Im not a supporter of any network airtel or dialog, But airtel’s call clarity sucks, it kept on saying network busy, and basically i was meddling with airtel live and i lost 50 rupees i only sent like wat 5 msgs lol anyhow, I really did airtels advertising and etc, but they kinda suck when there call reception wasnt of good quality, there customer care didnt have any idea of what was happening in Airtel, and for everyones knowledge sri lankans are begging for there sims wasting time and i think sri lankans dont have any other thing to do, other than to beg for them for 100 Rupee topped up sims. SRI LANKANS Stop going and wasting your time requesting for sims, well unless you really want it, there quality is as same as HUTCH, oh well airtel i got your connection and im starting to hate it.

  24. Sangakkara, shame on youuuu…
    ‘Mama Airtel ekata maaru unah’
    How can we trust you ?
    You are just like a typical politician
    They change the party without showing people that they do it for money.

    But you ???

    You changed the network, while we all knowing that you are doing it for money…

    Your accountability is zero….Airtel you will fail here for sure

  25. airtel u are the best…………………………………………………

  26. Unfair trading: Airtel

    Sangakkaras character has been in a shameless way.Must be a indian type advertising.

    this is totally against to the rules and ethics of character merchandising !!!

    Sanga, you were there at Law faculty at least for a one year though you could not complete the LLB. Better if you can learn media/advertising law from your lawyer father

  27. So why are Ajantha and Sanath not being blamed for promoting Dialog, a majority Malaysian owned company?

    Why was Sanga not blamed for being the spokesperson of a 100% Hong Kong owned company earlier?

    I am trying to understand the logic of these xenophobes, but it’s tough.

  28. Dear Prof,

    This is not about Ajantha, Sanath, Mahela, Murali or Lasith Malinga. We really appreciate them as they are consistantly being with and the word given by them can be trusted.

    But can’t you remember how Sangakkara promoting Hutch one month back ? What happened to his accountability or credibility ? That’s what we are talking here. Not about anything else.

    Ashame on you Sanga and Airtel you too started with the worst things you can do. You just showed that you want to kill all other operators and to build indian monopoly here in Sri lanka.

    Proud to be a Sri Lankan,

    “Bye India”

  29. So the issue is not promoting a foreign company, but changing companies?

    But surely, everyone knows that promotional work is done under commercial contracts, not lifetime commitments. Assume Hutch did not renew the contract; or that Sanga was bought out of the existing contract. If these two things did not happen, Hutch will take him to court.

    Why does a commercial relationship bother you?

  30. Exactly Correct…!!!

    You should not believe Sangakkara…He switched from Hutch to Airtel just for money, not due to that so called simple tariff plan.

    Can’t trust Sanga, so same for Airtel as well

    Simply, Airtel, we don’t have any faith in you

    ‘Bye India’

  31. we have’t any idea about airtel,sometimes may be good sometimes fail.however we appreciate all other networks of competitions

  32. It’s true that all promotional works are bound by agreements.Probably HUTCH might not have inserted an exclusivity clause.

    But SANGAKKARAS words are amount to misleading or deceptive conduct. He could have told ‘Airtel is great’ he tells “MAMA MAARU UNA…” istead. Thus it reminds us “oh you were with HUTCH”. There is, noneed to establish any motive to deceive, that anyone has actually been misled, or any loss, but it is vital that there be a real possibility of someonebeing deceived.

    If Hutch sue SANGA the court may indentify this T V commercial as unfair trading.

  33. 2 rs per minute is not reasonable because dialog is charging per second so we expect u will change ur rates

  34. Hi

    @ Saliya: Just a note (since you have mentioned Murali) that Murali used to promote Janashakthi when he was working there, but subsequently was brand ambassador for Ceylinco Life (presumably he no longer works for Janashakthi).

    @ sasarasaranna: These brand ambassador contracts do have non-compete clauses (I had the opportunity to review such a contract when I was at an advertising agency). The clause is only valid for the period of sponsorship (typically a year) although it does allow some usage of the brand ambassador even after the expiry (e.g. press/TV ads you can stop immediately; but you have a grace period for product packaging etc).
    There is usually no exclusivity clause (although to retain some value in the sponsorships the number of parallel sponsorships are restricted – usually 10)
    But there are no restrictions to moving to a competitor once the sponsorship period expires.

    And, AFAIK, “mama maru una” is OK with advertising laws, but to say “I swtiched from Hutch” would not (basically, you never name the competitor).


  35. wat abt IDD rates????????????????????

  36. Airtel call quality sucks!
    Customer care sucks!
    Sangakkara sucks because he knows nothing about commercial ethics!

  37. Kelum Lakmal Dissanayake

    I don’t know lot about Airtel
    But some people used to blame One of our heros Sangakkara….
    there is no big secret that everyone join to adds because of money…
    sana,,mahela lasith murali… all.
    so why you fools blame only sanga…
    is it the problem that Airtel is Indian and others are not.

    So the issue is not promoting a foreign company, but changing companies?

    But surely, everyone knows that promotional work is done under commercial contracts, not lifetime commitments. Assume Hutch did not renew the contract; or that Sanga was bought out of the existing contract. If these two things did not happen, Hutch will take him to court.

    Why does a commercial relationship bother you?
    As Rohan Samarajiva says…

    Try to understand the reality…
    No one can blame Sanga… if they have a bit of brain

  38. idiots,this forum not about sangakkara or TV commercials………………………………………


  40. Aiyo why aney I cant take calls from my Airtel to Dialog and Lanka Bell and even SLT men after 6 in the evening. I also hear that these other operator people are blocking my calls from the Airtel to their networks. Dialog, SLT, Lanak Bell, Why you being so bad! Profesor – you’re comment PLEASE!

  41. It’s almost ten years since I was Director General of Telecom. Please contact the TRC for assistance on this matter.

    Having no direct information (like a doctor who writes a response to people who send in symptoms on a radio show or in a newspaper), it appears to me that the problem may not be blocking as such (because if that is the case, you should be unable to make these calls at any time of the day), but inadequate dimensioning of the interconnection links. The mobile peak is around 7 PM and as the traffic increases, you will have difficulty getting through. Then around 11 PM, it should be possible to get through. Try it.

    Airtel should be able to confirm this tentative diagnosis because they can measure what percentage of their calls are getting through or not. Airtel’s legal director was formerly at the TRC, so solving this problem should be easy for them. However, please do not call my office thinking it is Airtel. We receive over 30 calls a day intended for Airtel. Long past the time they should have got a decent website and a call center.

  42. Eshantha Weeratunga

    I have been a Dialog subscriber for over seven years, and since 99% of my (and family) contacts are Dialog subsribers, placing my family members on the Blaster Package gives us a large total of free minutes (D2D only) at Rs 351 per month each, inclusive of taxes per mobile number. ALL incoming is free, Its like a FullDuplex walkie takie rental – why sms, just talk – no more worries of the bill increasing! You also get free F&F where five land lines can be included for Rs 1 or 2 per minute plus taxes,per second billing, no sense adding dialog numbers on my10 if you don’t finish the 1000 minutes through the billing cycle/month. So why all this HYPE about AirTel, not yet tested on our turf, and their tarrif charts don’t make much sense? There has been a lot of hype about AirTel in my opinion. Dialog’s call-center is also helpful MOST of the time!

  43. March 31 Passe Mokada Wenne, Plase tell me

  44. Whatever said and done about legalities, it is clearly unpleasant to see that a guy whose word USED TO BE looked up to by the society is talking in a competitor’s ad saying that he switched to it. Whatever said about validity of contracts, exclusivity and sponsorship…etc etc, still is doesn’t seem top be FITTING to the Sri Lankan society. What Sangakkara did was simply not conscientious and I’m sure he’s regretting his dcison to appear in this ad.

    Talking about Airtel, I personally do not have any experience sing ther service to comment on, but I’m not convinced enough to move from my Dialog connection, which gives me all that I want out of a poackage and service also is comparatively commendable.

    One appears to me that Airtel guys are quite good with MISLEADING. From combining ‘2 rupees’ and ‘whole day’ and using Sanga and pre-launch rumor spreasding..etc it shows. I personally do not like Airtel.

    Bye India :)

  45. With regard to not being able to get through to other networks from an Airtel network, what ur saying professor is that a possible reason for this may be that Airtel has not been given adequate dimensioning of the interconnect links by other networks??

    I too was quite confused as to why I had to try at least 4 or 5 times (at any time of the day) to connect with a Dialog or Mobitel or other service provider from my Airtel always said ‘network busy’…which meant that for some reason we weren’t able to get thru to the other networks..I did think that perhaps Dialog and the other competitors had perhaps Airtel calls but of course, what u say makes more sense. Could it be possible that other service providers have not given Airtel adequate room on their network ON PURPOSE??? Surely, the TRC must have some regulations where each service provider must give other service providers a certain amount of room on their network for interconnection??? I must say, coupled wit the articles i read a few months ago on the whole interconnect fee issue as well, the behaviour by other service operators toward Airtel are simply shameful! Dialog and Mobitel have great and VERY competitive packages, I simply don’t understand why they are so threatened by Airtel..simly makes me lose my faith in them and turn to Airtel as a service provider I can at least respect.

  46. Don’t put the blame on Existing players without knowing the reason behind.
    Airtel is at child’s play in this market.

    I can remember when i was a child of age 3-4 years, used to cry to get somewhat i want. Always go to my mummy and cry in front of her until i get what i want. And always put the blame on others just to punish them by mummy whilst keeping fault in my hand. Main reason i don’t know how to Collaborate with other in order to get things solved myself without incorporating my mummy or daddy.

    Doesn’t Airtel still continuing child’s play here…? They Don’t know get the things done. They don’t want others to play in this market. They want only themselves rule the market. But still they want the support of all other players to get them into their target. TRC is always backup them whatever possible way to feed this child and stop him crying.

    Looking at the tariff plan of Airtel, why should others give them interconnect capacity ? Main reason not to give is their indifferent tariff between their own network and off-net. To any network its same. They try to get a free ride on others’ networks to get the market share. Why do you think that other players should give their full support to Airtel along with their own subscribers plus their network capacity. Don’t be silly. Ask Airtel first to come up with a tariff with low on-net rate where they can drop the outgoing traffic towards other networks. Until that, Never allow them to free ride on others networks.

    Airtel, you are simply an annoying asshole…!!!

  47. Attn: Professor Samarajiva, In your expert opinion and experience, how far are the Sri Lankan telco service providers from providing “visual radio?” It is my understanding that the radio stations also have to be equiped to take advantage if and when the technology is made available. 3G is still in test mode or full use, and I observed the other day at a shop in Colombo, where a deaf and dumb person was using 3G to communicate in sign language with his girl friend! End of the conversation, he kissed the screen!

    Thank you.

  48. There can be two causes of inter-network congestion.

    One is that the call-originating network has not asked for enough capacity. They have to predict, weeks or months ahead, what the necessary capacity will be. If they guess too low, they will be paying for unused capacity and wasting money. If they guess too high, their users will experience congestion.

    The second cause is that they have asked, but have not been given enough capacity. Or that it is unduly delayed.

    These are questions that can only be answered by the TRC. If Airtel customers are unhappy with the quality of the service they are receiving, they should tell Airtel. Then Airtel can negotiate directly with the operators with whom it is experiencing difficulties or complain to the TRC. They experience these kinds of problems in India all the time. They know what to do. No cause for anyone in the blogsphere to get excited.

  49. Yeah, “…They know what to do”
    That’s why they fought for interconnection that much long in Sri Lanka. Eventually they got what they always wanted.
    That is “Sender Keeps All” regime, where no operator pays each other. Now Airtel make use of that opportunity. Giving lower tariff to Others’ networks (which is surprisingly similar to their Airtel-Airtel tariff). We should think twice how ethical that is under the SKA regime to free ride on others’ networks. If interconnection rates are applied, this can be justified to a certain extend. But under SKA ?

    i want to make a small correction to Professor’s comment.
    “…If they guess too low, they will be paying for unused capacity and wasting money…”
    There is no such payment system in Sri Lanka. Under the SKA regime they bear their cost/revenue of interconnection.

    I wonder why other operators should freely allow enough interconnection capacity to Airtel for no return but definitely for loss in terms of own network capacity and market share.

  50. Do not confuse the cost of the links, ports, etc. with the payments made for the terminated calls. The latter can be SKA, but the former involves fixed payments, independent of minutes terminated.

    Congestion is caused by problems of capacity in the links. There costs incurred by both parties on the links. Even if they agree to a settlement that nets off for the most part, the need to estimate the required capacity and provide it by a particular time remains.

  51. 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.

  52. 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.

  53. 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

  54. 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….”

  55. 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….

  56. 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’

  57. 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!!!!