Etisalat Sri Lanka (formerly Tigo) has announced the launch of a 3.5G W-CDMA/HSPA+ mobile network, incorporating dual carrier (DC) architecture which enables 42Mbps data speeds over HSPA+. The cellco also claimed that the network, which previously offered 2.5G GSM/GPRS/EDGE services, is now ready for further upgrading to Long Term Evolution (LTE) 4G standard, based on an implementation of a converged IP-based 2G/3G/4G radio access network. To mark the launch, Etisalat demonstrated actual mobile data rates of 18Mbps-21Mbps, limited by available device capabilities, and announced that its mobile broadband coverage will soon ‘cover all districts and key cities in Sri Lanka with continuous and rapid expansion.’ At launch Etisalat is offering internet/data subscribers the Huawei S7 Android tablet, exclusive in the Sri Lankan market, bundled with a year’s subscription, and is also marketing Wi-Fi routers and online packages aimed at corporate and SME customers. Internet-based products will be available at all Etisalat main dealer and customer care outlets and on its ‘shop channel’.
As previously reported in CommsUpdate, in September 2010 French-US vendor Alcatel-Lucent signed a ‘multi-million US dollar’ contract with the Sri Lankan mobile subsidiary of UAE-based Etisalat, to significantly boost its GSM/EDGE network capacity and coverage and build a 3.5G HSPA+ wireless all-IP broadband network. Alca-Lu is the sole supplier of an end-to-end solution, including the converged radio access network, a new all-IP mobile packet core network capable of supporting 2G, 3G and 4G, and a full end-to-end IP transport solution. In total, 480 GSM/EDGE base station sites and 515 HSPA+ sites were covered by the contract.