Sri Lanka Telecom, (SLT) would invest Rs. 25 billion this year towards the expansion of both SLT and Mobitel and to add infrastructure to their networks.
CEO, SLT, Greg Young speaking to ‘Daily News Business’, said that they would invest Rs. 17.5 billion for SLT, the highest ever capital infusion in the history of the company. The balance would be invested on Sri Lanka Telecom Mobitel.
The CEO said that one of the main areas that they would be concentrating this year would be on the iSri Lanka project that was launched last year.
“This would for the first time, bring SLT’s interactive PeoTV, the multi channel TV network to all megaline customers.
Through this programme, SLT has already brought ultra high speed broadband connectivity at speeds of up to 20Mbps for many of its fixed customers and the total project would be ready by next year.
He said that they would be providing special routers to their mega line customers so that they would have wifi with high speed internet and voice without an additional cost while also providing a better experience in Peo TV all via the SLT mega line connection.
He said the main reason for this was that today the most of the laptop computers, Tablets and smart phones are wifi compatible and hence people need voice, television and high speed internet in a all in one package.
In addition, SLT would also have more wifi enabled public places where customers could make use of this facility. “In addition, we would also provide free access in places like the airport and other public places,” he said
He disclosed that they would also do away with most of the aging and cumbersome equipment and replace them with modern energy saving and efficient equipment. “One may be surprised to note that we spend billions on electricity and we account to 1% of Ceylon Electricity Board revenue.”
“With the introduction of new equipment, this cost would drastically come down,” he said.
He also disclosed that they would be installing a handful of next generation telephone exchanges in place of over 400 exchanges spread throughout Sri Lanka.
Commenting on their bottom line, he said that the company has been performing to expectations with Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) operating profit growing by 14 % year-on-year to Rs.1.86 billion in the first quarter of 2012, on revenues which climbed 9 % to Rs13.53 billion.
He said that with all the taxes and levies they pay to the government, SLT contributes around 1% of the total government revenue.
He said that the mobile industry in Sri Lanka was very competitive and Sri Lanka may be the only country in the world to have four intentional players vying for the mobile market along with Mobitel.
A few years ago due some unethical completion and a low tariff regime, the mobile market profits zeroed and eventually the Telecom Regulatory Commission had to step in to bring about a new tariff plan which once again brought in profits to the industry.