Lanka Bell Archives — LIRNEasia

Today, Lanka Bell (the cable partner of Reliance through Flag), announced that calls to India would henceforth cost LKR 0.07 a minute, among the lowest IDD rates offered.   They have not got around to updating their website, but newspaper ads should count for something. What is causing downward pressure on international call rates to India?  Just a short time back, Dialog cut prices to India.
In its full color advertisement in today’s Sunday Times, Lanka Bell claims paying users for incoming calls is a new chapter in Telecom history. Is it? May be in Sri Lanka. But we have already discussed similar strategies elsewhere.
Sri Lankan fixed access provider Lanka Bell said it would pay subscribers for incoming overseas calls at the rate of 50 cents for every minute, regardless of duration, country of origin or the number of calls received. The company, in a statement, described the offer as passing on of the benefits of its three billion rupee investment to connect Sri Lanka to the FLAG undersea fibre optic cable network owned by India’s Reliance group. Full story here. This should make it easier for the Sri Lanka regulator to bring down termination charges for calls from within the SAARC, and implement the SAARC Colombo Declaration.
Until 2005, Sri Lanka had one undersea cable (if one did not count the aged SEA-ME-WE 2) and one operator controlling access to it. Then came SEA-ME-WE 4 and the BSNL cables. More cables, but still one operator, SLTL. Now finally, we have operator redundancy. This should be sweet music to the BPO industry.
The LBO story states: Sri Lanka’s two private wireless local loop telecom operators have been called up to pay around Rs. 400 million as duties for importing handsets, industry officials said. Last month, the island’s Board of Investment (BOI) slapped a 33 percent import duty on Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) handsets with immediate effect. CDMA is a low cost cellular technology that has been effectively used world over to provide cheaper connectivity to rural homes. Though the technology is similar to mobile phones, the handsets are similar to a bulky fixed line unit.