Thursday, March 28, 2013

4G spectrum bid in Sri Lanka

The director general of Sri Lanka’s Telecommunications Regulatory Commission, Anusha Palpita, said that only three of the island’s five mobile operators took part in the competitive bids.

Malaysia’s Dialog Axiata was the successful bidder, Palpita said. Mobitel and Etisalat were other two participants in the sealed-bid process. The Lankan government had set the floor price for bids at 800 million Lankan rupees.

Sri Lanka's mobile phone operator Dialog Axiata will roll out the country's first mobile 4G LTE network, sealing the deal with a 3.2 billion Sri Lanka rupees ($25.22 million) bid at auction.

Dialog on Thursday paid 3.2 billion rupees for a 10MegaHertz paired frequencies block in the 1800MHz band paying 2.0 billion rupees higher than the next bidder, in an auction which had a floor price of 3.2 billion rupees.

Bharti Airtel Lanka, part of Indian telecom giant Bharti Airtel, did not participate in the 4G spectrum sale held today(Mar 28, 2013)

“We raised a sum of rupees 3.28 billion from the sale of LTE mobile spectrum. This sum was higher than expected,” Palpita said.

“LTE deployment will usher the country into a new era of advanced wireless services including fast high capacity mobile broadband with wide spread coverage”, Palpita added.

Pelpita said the frequencies are expected to be used in the rollout of fourth generation LTE (long term evolution) high speed mobile broadband services.

The 1800 spectrum was allocated for GSM (2G) services by the International Telecommunications Unions, but can be used for 4G.

The 75MHz of paired bandwidth in the frequency band (or 150MHz in the band which runs from 1700 through 1800 MHz has now been allocated to operators.
 Dialog Already had a 15MHz block, Mobitel had 20, Etisalat, Hutch and Airtel each had 7.5MHz each and another 7.5MHz allocated to a firm which did not have a network was in court.

Except for the 7.5MHz which was in dispute the entire band has now been allocated to operators, he said.

"Spectrum sharing will allow more efficient use of the resource," Pelpita said.

Operators can set their own prices, but those planning to share spectrum must first apply to the Telecom Regulatory Commission, he said.

In Sri Lanka the 900MHz band, which is used for mobile broadband elsewhere is occupied by television broadcasters, but the band may become free after digital broadcasting starts Pelpita said.

Unlike other countries which raised billions of dollars Sri Lanka has a policy of keeping frequency fees relatively low.

Pelpita said he wanted to promote broadband use and in Sri Lanka fixed broadband penetration was low, though mobile was picking up.

"We have allowed frequency sharing because that will also keep costs down, so that retail tariffs will be more affordable," he said.

"Domestic roaming will also reduce costs as operators can save on network expenditure."

Sri Lanka Telecom, which had been licensed to build the national telecom backbone, has to allow other operators to use the pipes on regulated tariffs.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Sri Lanka will raise the import duty on Indian cars

Will Sri Lanka raise the import duty on Indian cars and bikes again?

India’s diplomatic stand on Sri Lanka’s human rights violations seems to have cost Indian vehicle manufacturers dearly.
Now that India has again voted against Sri Lanka on the US-sponsored UNHRC resolution, Indian automobile makers fear there might be a similar knee-jerk reaction this time as well.

Last year, Sri Lanka had raised the import duty on cars from 120-291 per cent to 200-350 per cent, from 51-61 per cent to 100 per cent for three-wheelers, and from 61 per cent to 100 per cent for two-wheelers. There was another round of excise duty hike, too, about four-five months ago.

An executive of Dimo Lanka, the exclusive dealer and importer of Tata Motors vehicles in Sri Lanka, concurred the views. "Imports of Tata cars are happening, but ever since the taxes were increased, sales of Tata 207 and the Tata Nano have gone down substantially. Enquiries are still very healthy but when consumers discover the price their enthusiasm goes down,” he said.

Sri Lanka, with a gross domestic product (GDP) increase of 6.3 per cent in the quarter ended December, is one of the promising markets for automobile players. Indian auto labels have a lion’s share of the Sri Lankan automotive market, led by Bajaj Auto with 60 per cent share.

Last year, India had exported vehicles worth $6 billion, out of which automobiles worth $800 million were to Sri Lanka.

- source :

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Thilanga is claiming Rs.500 million from Upali :P :P

In another development of the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) election battle, Presidential candidate Thilanga Sumathipala yesterday in a Letter of Demand (LOD) addressed to Upali Dharmadasa, another Presidential aspirant sent under the hand of Attorney at Law Priyantha Upali Amarasinghe is claiming that to his utmost surprise and dismay a purported press communiqué appeared on ‘Daily Mirror’ Newspaper dated 12 March 2013 issued and/or caused to have been issued by Upali Dharmadasa in his capacity as the President of SLC and most importantly one of the contestants in the forthcoming elections for the candidacy of President for SLC.
In the aforesaid press communiqué issued on his behalf as aforesaid it is inter alia represented that;
The ICC by its letter dated 5 March 2013 had written to SLC upon being informed of Sumathipala’s candidacy to the post of President of SLC and his eligibility to represent himself at the ICC.
In the said letter it was revealed that Sumathipala was found to nave breached ICC’s Code of Ethics primarily through his relationship with the Sporting Star Bookmaking Business in Sri Lanka.
It was specifically revealed that, the ICC in June 2005 resolved a Board Resolution that if Sumathipala was ever nominated by SLC as its representative of the Board again he would not be entitled to sit in the Board of Directors of the ICC until a formal hearing is held in relation to the allegations of breaching the Code of Ethics and:
In the said circumstances if Sumathipala is elected to the post of President of SLC it would jeopardize Sri Lanka, its people and governance of the game of cricket and SLC.
The said letter further states thus:
“I have instructions by my client that you have issued the purported communiqué with the ulterior motive of tarnishing my client’s reputation and goodwill at a time when my client is contesting for the post of President of SLC against you and several other candidates
Acting in the aforesaid manner you have deliberately and maliciously misled the general public and had caused to distort the true version and effect of ICC’s communication by inter alia reproducing and quoting certain portions and/or parts of the communiqué and carefully manipulated to portray a false image of my client.
I am instructed by my client to write to you stating that, ICC has communicated with my client by its letter dated 5th March 2013 and my client reasonably understands that the communication which you have referred in the purported communiqué also contains the following clear and unambiguous stand of the ICC as to my client’s prospects of dealing with the ICC in the event my client is successful at the forthcoming elections.
I am further instructed by my client that you being a contestant in the forthcoming elections has caused to issue a purported press communiqué using your office as the President of SLC in the manner mentioned above had caused to portray a false image and created a fear psychosis amongst the voting members and the cricketing public with the ulterior motive of gaining an undue advantage in the forthcoming elections.
I am further instructed that, said purposive attempt to publish and/or cause to publish a press communiqué in the said manner was timely designed and calculated to prejudice the minds of the three-member committee appointed by the Hon Minister to inquire in to the objections in relation to my client’s candidacy whilst the determination in relation to the inquiry against my client is yet to be delivered.
I am further instructed to write to you stating that, said distorted manner in which the facts have been presented in the press communiqué had ridiculed and/or caused to have ridicule my client amongst the general public and thus has rendered to lower the dignity of my client.
I am instructed by my client that, for purpose clarity of the contents in the said press communiqué my client wishes to set the facts straight in the following manner that the said letter by the ICC received by my client specifically emphasized that they do not have any objections of my client’s candidacy to the post of President of SLC.
That my client in response to the said inquiry referred to in the purported press communiqué to have been held in year 2005 by the ICC in relation to my client’s links in to the gambling and bookmaking Company namely Sporting Star had tendered an affidavit in year 2010 denying any involvement in such business of gambling and/or bookmaking
That, my client if required is ready to face any inquiry by the ICC to absolve himself from any allegation and/or blemish against my clients involvement in gambling and/or bookmaking industry. that in any event as the ICC in its letter dated 5th March 2013 had clearly indicated that my clients candidacy to the post of President of SLC has no bearing whatsoever on SLC’s representative status at ICC in that SLC can appoint any other nominee to represent SLC as a Full Member Director
As a result of the said press communiqué caused to have been issued at your instance directly referring to my client amounts to illegal, unfair, disproportionate accusations and allegations against my client which are per se and by innuendo defamatory of my client which had lowered the dignity and the social status of my client amongst the general public and within the membership of SLC
As a direct result of the said illegal and unfair conduct to publish and/or cause to have published in the manner mentioned above has caused severe damage to my client
I have instructions from my client to write to you stating that, my client reasonably estimates the loss and damage which he had suffered as a result of the aforesaid act attributed to you at a sum of Rs 500,000,000 (Rupees Five Hundred Million)