Sri Lanka’s mobile market leader Dialog Telekom has chosen Ericsson as its lead contractor in building out its W-CDMA/HSDPA network, the first on the island and in the South Asian region. According to the operator, Ericcson will provide 100% of the core network and the majority of the radio access network. Dialog launched commercial 3G services in Colombo in August 2006. Earlier that month it paid around USD5 million for its 3G spectrum, as did the country’s three other cellcos, Celltel Lanka, Hutchison Telecommunications Lanka and Mobitel Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka’s mobile market is set to become more competitive this year with the auction of a fifth GSM licence. Indian mobile heavyweights Bharti Airtel and Reliance Communications are in the race for the concession, estimated to be worth around USD4 million, but these two will have to beat bids from Malaysia’s Maxis Communications and Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel).