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Reliance forms joint venture in Sri Lanka

8 Apr 2008

The Economic Times reports that Indian telecoms group Reliance Communications (RCOM) has established a joint venture with a Sri Lankan firm with the initial aim of rolling out a GSM mobile network on the island this year. Its subsequent plans include setting up a next generation integrated telecoms network in the next three years. RCOM owns 74% in Reliance Mobile Lanka, with the remaining 26% held by Electroteks, which is controlled by its founding CEO B.A.C. Abeywardana. According to the Indian newspaper Reliance Mobile Lanka has received start-up GSM spectrum from the Sri Lankan authorities, and RCOM has invited expression of interest from global vendors for the rollout of a GSM network with a capacity of five million lines. Sources quoted in the report suggested the operator could expand its Indian ‘One Nation One Account’ service plan to Sri Lanka, giving customers access to all its available services via one account, for instance, mobile and fixed telephony, fixed and WiMAX internet access, and DTH TV services. RCOM, which offers both CDMA and GSM mobile services in its domestic market, has begun expanding into other emerging countries, and plans to launch mobile services in Uganda in the second half of this year. TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database says that in Sri Lanka, however, RCOM would be entering an increasingly crowded sector, with fellow Indian mobile giant Bharti Airtel preparing to launch the island’s fifth mobile network by this September.

Sri Lanka, Reliance Communications (RCOM)

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