Bharti Airtel Lanka (Airtel Lanka) announced this week (13 November) that it has been awarded a 5MHz block of spectrum in the 900MHz band by the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL). The cellco said the allocation was made on an ‘administrative basis’ related to pre-published criteria that stipulates that ‘in order to create a level playing field for all four mobile operators, every operator shall have equal amount of spectrum at all possible times in such economical bands. Therefore, during evaluation of applications the prominence will be given to minimise unequal distribution of radio frequency spectrum (if any) within the above band.’ The criteria further mentioned that the ‘evaluation will be based on to guarantee interference free spectrum’. The award will result in wider coverage, providing Airtel users with enhanced voice and data experience. ‘This is the first step in a bold strategy from Airtel which aims to leapfrog current benchmarks in order to provide an unbeatable user experience,’ said Airtel Lanka Managing Director/CEO Jinesh Hegde, adding that the company has already begun using the newly allocated frequency after paying the required fee (which was not disclosed).