Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Free Second Decoder and more

At the moment Dialog TV is providing a free second decoder to subscribers in the premium package, this we believe is just a precursor to the multi room connections that would be issued. At the moment only the second decoder is free but a package rental has to be paid separately. It would have been better if Dialog could have at least allowed older subscribers to get packages at older rates to their second decoder however instead of all that it would be great if a very low rental is charged for the second decoder to be in the same package as the primary decoder.

In other news there are rumors of a channel call "Channel C" operated by Torana would be launched on Dialog TV from March 1st. We have no proper information regarding this channel but it may be a round the clock music channel. At present this channel is said to be available on Dialog Mobile.

No progress whatsoever has been made regarding the pixelation issue on HBO channels. Please keep us updated on the latest regarding Dialog TV as the days progress.


alf said...

Reliance ADAG’s Big TV all set for March-2008 launch

Reliance ADA Group’s Big TV is reportedly slated to commercially go on air in late March 2008, though some Reliance employees are already using the service. The channel claims to have 86 channels on air right now, with 64 expected to come on board over the next couple of weeks.

The company is offering the service to its employees at Rs 1,000, along with a monthly subscription package of Rs 325, which would entitle them to watch the channels being aired and also provide them with Rs 100 worth of Pay Per View (PPV) movies.

Big TV will be offering MPEG4 technology for the first time in the country and has the capacity of up to 250 TV channels, which it claims is much more than any current DTH operator. Subscribers will have access to 32 PPV channels, which will showcase Bollywood, Hollywood and regional films.

Big TV has managed to get on board all Doordarshan, STAR, Sony, Zee and NDTV channels along with some other sports, regional news and regional entertainment channels. Notably, the Sun Network channels are not available through the platform as of now. Reliance employees can subscribe to this service till February 28, 2008 at the aforementioned rates and they can even refer up to four relatives/friends for the new service at these current rates.

Despite repeated attempts, Big TV officials couldn’t be contacted for comments at the time of filing this report.

Posted by HETAL ACHARYA at 12:08 AM 0 comments
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Reliance's Big TV starts test run with 60 channels
NEW DELHI: Reliance Communications' Big TV has started test run in homes of Anil Dhirubhai Ambani group employees even as it has drawn up an aggressive plan plan to build a sizeable direct-to-home (DTH) subscriber base.

Big TV is now showing 60 channels from all major broadcasters, and has offered the boxes to its employees through internal mailers at the highly subsidised rate of Rs 1,000 per subscriber.

Industry sources said that the price of Reliance DTH would remain unchanged when it is commercially launched a few weeks from now.

Big TV plans to show close to 300 channels when fully functional, a possibility because of the MPEG 4 format it will be using.

The company, which has reportedly ordered two million set-top boxes (STBs), has developed a technological solution which can upgrade an existing MPEG 2 STB to MPEG 4 level.

A source said that Reliance would deploy this solution as a marketing tool to capture the existing subscribers of Tata Sky and Dish TV.

The latest regulation for the DTH sector recommended by the Telecom Authority of India (Trai) says that all new connections would have to be on the MPEG 4 format and the boxes would have to be interoperable.

This means that a subscriber can change a service provider without having to buy new equipment. Both Tata Sky and Dish TV have written to the government to remove this clause, as it would not be possible for them to upgrade the total number of five million boxes they share between themselves.

While Trai has clarified that the regulation would not affect old connections, it means that even the old DTH players would have to give new connections in MPEG 4 format.

For the rest, the existing five million would stay on the MPEG 2 format. Even in is this segment, Reliance's new solution of upgrading to MPEG 4 format would be a big lure.

A price war is imminent. While TataSky has already lowered its charges by half of what it started with a year ago, just to stay in competition, it is still above the price Reliance is offering.

Dish TV officials were not ready to let their plans be public, saying "something will be done."

But the real impact of Big TV's launch could be felt on the cable sector with the entry cost falling to as low as Rs 1,000.

Reliance Entertainment president Rajesh Sawhney was in a meeting when contacted and could not give his comments.

Srinimal said...

@ Cable

1. Dish TV does not operate a television channel from Sri Lanka. So they do not need a licence from SL GOV. (Hope you remember SLGOV have stopped FTV being uplinked from SL. But still the HK uplink can be received in SL)

You have to understand that the licence needed is for uplinking from SL territory. Any GOV does not have control over downlinks !!!

Dont come here and talk nonsense. Under the SL law it is legal to receive any signal coming to SL for personal purposes. But for rebroadcasting you have to obtain neccesary rights.

And dont talk about the things you dont know !!! You can get a DishTV connection to your name if you want to !!!

Here is one VC no : 01500203161

You can check the owners details on : http://www.dishtvindia.in/Static/renewalformHome.asp


@ technoguy

What is your problem ???
Why dont you talk about breaking the rules by DIALOG TV MF ???

I'm comparing DTV with Dish TV as a consumer of both services for the benefit of fellow bloggers here.

@ amaris


We do not have a problem over whether Dish TV has a license or not or legal or not !!!!

All of us use pirated software Dont we ??? And trying to be law abiding citizens for DTH ???

Yes ! Getting DishTV hurts some people who works for DTV !!!

cable said...

Hi Everybody

Sorry to bring this argument over from the previous thread this is the last time i will be talking about DishTV in this blog but i need to make things clear


I dont care if Dish TV has a license to broadcast to Sri Lanka or not. As far as i am concerned any one of you can take a connection. i was arguing with srinimal about legality of it.As you said its like installing a cracked windows o/s we do it but it dosent make it legal. I hope you are clear on what i am saying. I am just saying it's illegal not for you to stop getting connections because its illegal. srinimal is saying it's not illegal


The penny dropped when i looked at the VC number you provided at dishtv for benifit of others i reproduce the details below

SMSID : 295107
Viewing Card Number : 01500203161
STB Number : 0560AAH21DS00052
Customer Type : DTH INDIVIDUAL
Status : Active
Zone : Dish (L)
Scheme : DISH
Next Renewal Date : 15 Mar 2008

Please give your attention to Dealer ID I think everybody will now understand why srinimal is so pro DISHTV.

All this time i was arguing with you thinking you were a genuine person looking at various options well that ends now.

Dont try to mislead ppl u asshole the the dish tv VC number you gave is given by Lakshman Hullugalles(your?) outfit in sri lanka they charge 4000/- rupees for 3 months and what are the channels they give? only worthwile channel is Star Sports they dont even give ESPN. If its so legal why dont they give the DISH maxi package which includes all the channels.
I challenge you to show VC number with a sri lankan address obtained from India.Hullgalle(you?) will rule roost as long as you have power after that customers will be left in the lurch

I cant belive i wasted my time arguing with a Huluballa stooge. I see why you refuse to accept what is crystl clear to anybody.

Sorry for the lenghty post folks as i said this is my last post answering Srinimal

DLR said...

I'm planning to apply free secondary Connection & then install it to my brother's home after buying antenna & LNB from local market.
Friends, give your opinion
What is the cost of Antenna & LNB in local market?

LANKA INFO said...

"Channel C" going to replace ZEE music from March 1st.

Srinimal said...

@ Cable

My Dish TV connection I got it from India not from Hulugalla. That's upto you to decide to buy if from here or not. If you buy it from an indian dealer you will have to pay only INR 300 (LKR 800++) but if you buy from satnet you will have to pay LKR 1200. That's upto any indviduals preference.

What you have challenged me is that using Dish TV is illegal here in SL and to show a connection which is registered under a SL Name /address.

So I did !!! Now what's your problem ???

I posted the Sirasa TV's VC no: on this blog for you to check. And it's under a name of some Indian. So they even use this to get the ESPN, STAR, BBC feeds for their news broadcasts.

We know the SLGOV attitude towards Sirasa TV. If they are using a "So-called illegal" connection as Cable says SLGOV can seal the station.

This "use of Dish TV is illegal in Sri Lanka" term is a myth created by Dialog to stop people from getting it. Cable & Dialog TV MF are DTV insiders who post the same on this blog.

As amaris says there is no argument whether its legal or not !!! Even it is illegal it doesnt matter to us !!!

But it is legal as you are not pirating the connection. We pay to watch Dish TV too !!!! And the receivers we got down came from Katunayake paying all the custom duties !!!! If it is illegal can you bring them in a such way ???

@ Cable & Dialog TV MF

Please dont talk nonsense without knowing the real facts.

Let the people decide what is value for money. My whole argument is DTV charges it's subscribers a lot for 90% ++ Indian content !!!!


AMD said...


Will all the new channels ( including FOX ) be activated on March 1st ?

alf said...



LANKA INFO said...

TP 4, there is a small delay in TP4 launch. but def'ntly before march 15th.

Looser said...


Try Pettah it was less than Rs.3500last year. (Antenna+LNB)

Dimu said...

For a dish + LNB try here

New Cinta Trading (pvt) Ltd.
65, 1st Cross Street, Col 11

Tel : 011-2334531

LANKA INFO said...

DTV have increased the quality of the TP 1 & 2 channels during the STAR Movies down time (5.30pm). Now all the TP 1 & 2 channels are available in good quality.

rupavahini said...


Dealer Contact Person Address Phone Email
Star Television Lanka Pvt. Ltd Lakshman Hulugalle Fife Road,- Colombo-5Colombo - 900002 Sri Lanka(sri Lanka) 0777-557558 0094-11-2596800 dilrukshi@satnet.lk

LANKA INFO said...

BREAKING NEWS: All about the Indian Premier League (IPL)

alf said...



TechnoGuy Sri Lanka said...

According to MEASAT 3 on SatCodx, Reliance Big TV is broadcasting around 20 channels per transponder using MPEG-4 technology. Each channel has around 1.5 Mbps bandwidth for video.

According to a post at the Save On Dish Forums (India), Big TV channels show true DVD quality picture and sound.

This is thanks to MPEG-4 encoding which lessens the amount of bandwidth required for DVD-like picture and sound.

Now if Dialog uses MPEG-4 technology to broadcast the current 18 channels per transponder, imagine the quality we will enjoy. Unfortunatly Dialog will upgrade to MPEG-4 solely to increase the number of channels per transponder.

MPEG 2 + 18 channels per transponder = Medium Quality (current)
MPEG 4 + 18 channels per transponder = Great Quality
MPEG 4 + 35/36 channels per transponder = Medium Quality

Ultimately we will probably end up with the same old quality, if not worse. This is on a basis that MPEG-4 reduces bandwidth by 50% over its predecessor.

Of course MPEG-4 may use more than 50% less bandwidth, meaning that the quality will be a little better. But don't keep your hopes high.

We should pressurise Dialog not to increase the number of channel per transponder, even though they upgrade to MPEG-4. The best channel count will be around 18 to 25 channels per transponder.

alf said...

The company, which has reportedly ordered two million set-top boxes (STBs), has developed a technological solution which can upgrade an existing MPEG 2 STB to MPEG 4 level.

A source said that Reliance would deploy this solution as a marketing tool to capture the existing subscribers of Tata Sky and Dish TV.




rupavahini said...

Breaking News

DialogTV mpeg 4 Ready

Nalin said...

What's new in Torana's TV channel? What their content of programs and their web site?

DLR said...

rupavahini & lanka info,
If mpeg4 introduce what will happen to our decorders?

Lisura said...

Channel C is now available on Dialog Mobiles

Lisura said...

Other channels available @ Dialog mobile streaming :

Star Sports
Channel C
Crazy TV
Joke TV
Bollywood TV

alf said...


Blog Sri Lanka said...


Christo said...

Sky Sports is coming.Fox is not confirmed yet!!!!!!!

dialog tv mf said...


can you go and moan somewhere else, tired of seeing your comment about

definitely you must be an annoying person mentioning the same thing over and over

Rukmal said...

To watch Australia Vs SL cricket match live

first install the Sopcast player

and go to

Have Fun

Rukmal said...

To watch cricket match use IE only. Firefox doesn't work !

Micheal said...

Hi All,


Pretty interesting blog, this!

stay cool.

TechnoGuy Sri Lanka said...

The availability of Sky Sports (UK) on Dialog TV is utter crap.

Sky Sports and all channels under that name are broadcast in UK and only available in UK. No where else.

So there is minimal possibility that the channel will be broadcast elsewhere in Europe, let alone Asia.

Of course there are other Sky Sports channels broadcast around the world by subsidiaries of News Corporation (which owns BSkyB in UK). But even those are available only in a specific region.

I'm suspecting that one or more persons are trying to mislead us customers with false information (apart from the most obvious spammers). This includes the information that Sky Sports is coming soon the Dialog TV, and the announcement that Dialog TV is MPEG4 ready as soon as I mentioned Reliance Big TV.

I'm not pointing fingers yet, but we should all be careful with what we beleive and don't. Most of us already have a mental list of trusted bloggers, and others' info should be taken with a pinch of salt.

Please forgive me if I am wrong at any point.

LKDOOD said...


TechnoGuy Sri Lanka is right

Sky sports(UK) has only some European

Sky sports coming to Sri lanka is a JOKE

Sri Lanka In Focus-NEWS & CHAT

Apstar02 said...


There is a company which gives connection for the "Relince BIG TV" connection in sri lanka.

CHK there web http://www.satlanka.com/

Apstar02 said...

I think ALF has a problem with this blog, admin try to block these type of language.

When there are good bloggers there are also bad ppl who try to distroy everything,like what is happening to SL now!!!!!


Nokia said...

alf language is not good. Please try to be much more matuared in a public place like this.

Nokia said...

Can any one tell me whether Chanel C is going to be live on DTV from first of march? Is this the chanel which torana runs? Please keep us updated.

How can we unscrmble Ranaroo?

LANKA INFO said...

It’s confirmed, C TV coming to replace the Zee music (Temporally) from 1st march.
Content: 24/7 Music. (Hopefully you can expect the rest of the channels from 1st of March or before the 2nd week of March.)
Ranru – need to get an approval form Defiance ministry.

SKY SPORTS is not coming**** (I don’t know who is making this decision)

619 said...

Lanka Info

Any local channels available in now TP ? Disney , DisneyToons ?

Peaceful blog without useless people. ***

LANKA INFO said...

@ 619 - Officially starting on March 1st, other then that no.
Cartoon- Baby TV is coming.

Nokia said...

Can I use a DTV Sim and the Decorder in Maldives if I could fix it there?

Planing to go there for few months.

Looser said...


Yes you can

SP said...

Yes. but better to use 90cm or bigger dish.can use 65cm dish but quality 25-30 day time 30-35 night.
I am in male using DTV with 90cm dish.

TechnoGuy Sri Lanka said...

Dialog has rearranged the channels. Ranaru has replaced Zee Muzic, Shruti and Zee Muzic are at the end of the 3rd transponder (total 20 on TP3).

Check SatCodX for accuracy.

@ apstar2
SATLanka provides a wide variety of packages from all over the world. They are "Sri Lanka's fastest growing Satellite and Cable TV system" and their "packages are the lowest of all". Lowest in quality. Lowest in honesty. Highest in cheating.

I highly doubt that SatLanka provide all they boast. First of all, Reliance Big TV is only available for Reliance employees and select people for test purposes. Later on they will launch officially.

@ Nokia
You just can't change spammers. Its difficult. We should just ignore them.

yakuza said...

any idea about IPL. i think the matches will be shown on set max, confirm

sonik said...

As far as dtv is concerned... theres obviously nothing that has changed. And, keep in mind that dialogs mobile tv service is also dependant on good weather. turns out dialog uses one of their satellite tv connections to relay the channels in dialog mobile tv via the net. but when theres rain fade.... theres not dtv mobile either

also, isnt there anyway to block vandals in a blog?

TechnoGuy Sri Lanka said...

@ Sonik
Yes, they probably relay channels using Dialog TV connections. That means channels like E! and Channel C are already operating on the TP4, scrambled to us.

There is no easy way to block vandals on blogs, unless it becomes a member (invited)-only blog. That means the blog won't be accessible to the public who needs it.

Other option is to convert in to a forum, where users have to register an account for themselves. But then the style of this blog will be gone.

LANKA INFO said...

'CTV', the first television broadcast dedicated for teledramas began telecast from February 1, from 10 am to 1 pm on weekdays and from 10 am to 4 pm on Saturday on TNL channel. A member of Ceylinco Group of Companies, CTV Network Limited was officially launched on January 31 at Ceylinco Towers with the participation of Minister of Information and Mass media, Anura Priyadharshana Yapa, Chairman of Ceylinco, Lalith Kotelawala, Vice Chairman of the group Cecille Kotelawala and Chairman of the TNL television Shan Wickremasinghe.

A large number of cinema and teledrama actors also participated at this event. Through CTV, viewers will have the opportunity to watch their much popular teledramas and award winning teledramas, 'Pem Piyawara' at 10 am, 'Bedde Gedara' at 10.30am, 'Diyaketa Pahana' at 11 am, 'Naana Kamaraya' at 11.30 am and 12 noon 'Doo Daruwo' on weekdays.

On Saturdays teledrama 'Bidena Beduma' will be telecast at 11 am, 'Vihanga Geethaya' at 11.30 am, 'Dedunu Yanaya' at 12 noon, 'Sanda Amawakai' at 2 pm, 'Mayaratne' at 2.30 pm and 'Dangayanta Pamanai' at 3 pm will be telecast along with other music and documentary programmes.

At this event, the CTV felicitated four institutions which conduct award ceremonies to promote talent in the television medium. Rev. Fr. Benedict Joseph for organizing Signis Tele Awards Festival, Chairman of Sumathi Newspapers Limited, Thilanga Sumathipala for organizing "Sumathi Tele Awards", Chairman of the National Film Corporation, Jayantha Dharmadasa for organizing 'State Tele Awards Ceremony' and Chairman of the Kingdom of Raigam, Dr. Ravi Liyanage for organizing 'Raigam Tele Awards'.

At this event the CTV also felicitated veteran actress Irangani Serasinghe and teledrama producer Sanya Mendis for their contribution to the teledrama industry. The day also marked the opening of media academy for training talented younger generation for Television, Cinema, Radio, Advertising, Information Technology and the creative use of the visual medium with digital technology.

The training which comprises both practical and theory is conducted by Prof. Tissa Kariyawasam. The CTV also has initiated a project to make available popular teledramas as DVDs and the first teledrama which was converted to DVD format was Jayantha Chandrasiri's 'Akala Sandyawa'. This would give an opportunity for Sri Lankans abroad and for others who have missed, an opportunity to see and enjoy them.
Source: The Sunday Times

LANKA INFO said...

or click here

alf said...

have just got this information from one of my sources inside Dish TV India that the channels B4U Music and B4U Movies are to be added very soon in the Dish TV platform, so people can now rejoice over this news!

Both of these channels are one of my personal favorites, with B4U Music giving us the top songs and B4U Movies displaying movies round the clock.

The reason these channels were removed was because they were not being aired with the quality DishTV wanted to provide its customers, and some technicalities were there which forced DishTV to remove B4U’s channels, there were also some encoding issues. Ways have been worked out for this and the problem is in its final stages.

Expect both the channels to be on your STB from the end of March.

alf said...

NEW DELHI: Reliance Communications (RCom) is likely to place an order for 5 million set-top boxes for its proposed direct-to-home (DTH) broadcasting venture, industry sources said.

Big TV DTH Ltd, a fully owned subsidiary of RCom, is expected to commercially roll out its service next month.

DTH enables you to bypass the cablewallah and receive broadcasting signals directly into your premises through a set-top box.

Currently, there are two private DTH operators in the country-Dish TV of the Essel group and TataSky, a joint venture between the Tatas and Rupert Murdoch’s Star group.

Dish TV, the first DTH player in the country, has around 2.7 million subscribers, while TataSky has over 1.5 million.

Free-to-air DTH platform, DD Direct Plus, has a subscriber base of around 7 million, according to Prasar Bharati estimates.

Besides RCom, the others about to join the DTH race include the Bharti group and Sun TV. Recently, Bharat Business of the Videocon group also received government nod to start DTH operations.

It is learnt that the set-top boxes for Reliance’s DTH venture are being sourced from Korea, China and Taiwan.

Although the company had initially planned an order of around 2 million set-top boxes, subsequently it increased the target to 5 million, sensing an opportunity in the television market.
Of the 120 million TV households in India, only 70 million have cable connections.
DTH is still in its infancy in India, and there’s sufficient room for growth. By 2015, 40% of the pay TV universe (cable TV and DTH) is likely to be DTH users, significantly up from around the present 5%, according to industry projections

RCom, sources said, is looking at ways to reduce the cost of set-top boxes by up to 20% through its mega order.

The current landed cost of an MPEG4-enabled set-top box that RCom will deploy ranges from $55-$60 in the global market. The DTH platform of RCom is currently undergoing tests.

A recent analyst report by the Kotak group pointed out that the entry of more players would coincide with potentially aggressive pricing strategies in the DTH space.

The report added that “DTH subscriber volumes would grow strongly over the next several years, led by rising affordability”.

Recently, Dish TV CEO Arun Kumar Kapoor told DNA Money that “there’s room for 4-5 DTH players in the country”.

alf said...

Well STB is Taiwan brand with Big TV logo. STB and Remotes is easy to handle and function well rather than Other DTH Networks.

They are showing 128 channels at the with great quality which you never seen any where. Tested on Plasma.

I will give 10/10 for Picture Quality and Sound which looks liek DVD.

I am sure once Big TV lunch I will booked a connection.

Some Key Features:
- Easy Channel Navigation.
- Detialed EPG.
- DVD Look Picture
- DVD Sound
- No Pixaltion.
- Remote is very friendly.

kmrpl said...

I did a channel search now.
It shown a 'search failure'
Massage in front of tp4 and there weren’t those testing channels in the lineup. What is going on in dtv

Dimu said...

Yes all the test channels gone & TP4 does not show any signal.

kmrpl said...

Is it only a few has lost the signal of tp4 or has everybody lost it.Now there is no shruthi inthe lineup also.
When something like that happens will the launch of new channels take much more time

TechnoGuy Sri Lanka said...

If anyone here wants to learn about Dish TV India, Tata Sky, Sun Direct and Reliance Big TV, please visit the Save On Dish Forums or India Broadband Forums for information directly from the customers.

There is no requirement to post information about Indian DTH services here, unless it is for fair comparison. This is the Dialog TV (Sri Lanka) Forum, in case anyone has forgotten.

@ Kmrpl, Dimu
I remember something like this happened last time as well. Hopefully soon the signal will return and channels will be unscrambled soon.

star said...


B4U Music is already available on DISH TV. This channel was added on DD DTH 2 weeks before. Therefore, all the dish tv viewers can watch that channel now.

Well B4U Movies might join DD Direct+ with speacial deal between Dish Tv, B4U and DD Direct+.

B4U Movies is FTA channel on many parts of world and DD DTH will add all 10 channels which we called Test channels but it takes time upto 3 months.

So, very soon B4U Movies channel too added to DD DTH or DISH TV. Therefore, we an see both channels.

yakuza said...

i think dtv should seriously consider the voice delay issue on zee studio

619 said...

AXN has a big Pixel issue now.

Peaceful blog without useless people. ***

FILEnetworks_Artillery said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
monaco 1100 said...

The EPGs of National Geographic and History Channel gone missing from Saturday.

Dialog, Please make them available soon.

Missed some good shows on those channels on weekeends, bcoz of the unavailability of EPGs.

cable said...


why did DTV stop the signal in TP4?

AMD said...

ICC U 19 cricket W/cup,
live on Star cricket & channel EYE

619 said...

Dear Admin

Thanks for deleting the unnecessary comments. Pls be strict for the blog Rules !!

we appreciate your work

Peaceful blog without useless people. ***

rupavahini said...

4th TP Start mpeg 4
now on testing

LKDOOD said...

thanks admin

Sri Lanka In Focus-NEWS & CHAT

MERINO said...

Sun rises again

(Lanka-e-news, 25 Feb. 2008, 6.00PM) 'Hiru Media Network' banned by the Government sometime ago has obtained a new licence and commenced their transmissions.

One of the Asst. Managers of 'Hiru' told Lanka-e-news that they have started their transmissions in indoor studios and outdoor transmissions will be started by March.

The licence issued to 'Hiru' was cancelled by the Minister of Media and Information saying that false news was aired by them about a LTTE attack to Ranminitenna in Tissamaharama. Chairman of 'Hiru' Media Network has submitted a petition to the courts against the Minister;s order, but it was rejected. However, there were no objections from Courts to get a new licence.

After this incident, Mr. Duminda Silva, UNP member of Western Provincial Council, and brother of 'Hiru' Local Partner, Mr. Reynor Silva, resigned from UNP and joined SLFP. Then, political and media rumours spread all over saying that this crossing over is to get the licence back, but, at a press conference, Mr. Duminda Silva stated that there were no connections between his crossing over to SLFP and the cancelled licence.

In the meantime, it is reported that President's son, Mr. Namal Rajapakshe is going to be appointed as a Director of 'Hiru Media Network', but so far, no such appointment is made, said the above Asst. Manager.

AMD said...

Bharti Airtel may be re-drawing plans for Sri Lanka'
Sri Lanka Source
Monday 25th February, 2008

Indian telecom giant Bharti Airtel, which had announced its entry into the Sri Lankan mobile phone sector with much fanfare last year, is experiencing delays and may well be re-drawing its investment plans for the island country, says a Sri Lankan telecommunication expert.

Rohan Samarajeewa, former head of Sri Lanka's Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (TRC), told IANS that while there was no doubt that Bharti Airtel was committed to operating in Sri Lanka, it had altered its timetable and could well be scaling down its original investment plans.

The reasons for the delay in starting the operations were in the realm of speculation, Samarajeewa said. But he did point to a possibility of difficulties in getting frequencies from the TRC, as it is generally recognized that the allotment of frequencies tends to be 'highly politicised' in Sri Lanka.

The parent company in India could also be changing its priorities as regards capital allocations, in the context of the growing challenges in the more lucrative Indian domestic market, Samarajeewa said.

'Even assuming that the mobile phone market in Sri Lanka is 10 million, it is still only the size of a metropolis in India. It is therefore possible that Bharti Airtel is looking at some of the Indian states with greater interest,' he said.

In 2007, Bharti Airtel had set up a Sri Lankan subsidiary, Bharti Airtel Lanka Pvt Ltd., got a license to provide 2G and 3G services in collaboration with China's Huawei Technologies, announced an investment of $200 million and began to recruit a large staff. The services were to begin by 2007 end. This subsequently got postponed to early 2008. But, as yet, there are no signs of an early start.

'When it announced its entry, I expected Bharti Airtel to literally slaughter the existing players. But given the recent changes in the price structure here, and the intense competition in the field, the Indian company will have to be quite creative if it is to be more than just a minor player,' Samarajeewa said.

The market is small and crowded. The fixed line and mobile phone penetration in Sri Lanka is very high. Forty to 50 percent of the households in the island (excluding the war-affected north and east) have access to a phone. Out of a total population of 20 million, six million have mobile phones. With the recently announced price reductions, the user-base is expected to rise to 10 million, or half the total population of the country.

There are already four players in the field. Among them, Dialog Telekom, a unit of Telecom Malaysia, has been the leader, controlling 60 percent of the market. Dialog has enjoyed brand loyalty for a considerable length of time throughout Sri Lanka, and is, therefore, no pushover.

Bharti Airtel would have to come up with innovative packages to attract the bottom rungs of the socio-economic ladder, an area of rapid growth in the foreseeable future, Samarajeewa pointed out. While price will be of the highest importance for those in the bottom-end of the social scale, technical qualities will be a clincher among the upper strata of society.

Asked for the reasons for the delay in starting operations, Bharti Airtel Lanka's CEO, Amali Nanayakkara, said her company had very stringent requirements in regard to the infrastructure and that it would not start operations until all the requirements were met.

But she denied that there were any difficulties in getting official clearances. The setting up of the network was also proceeding satisfactorily. The company was 'very happy' with the cooperation of the Sri Lankan authorities, and the pace of the work was also 'very good', Nanayakkara told IANS.

As for the price factor, she said that it was nothing new. 'It was there right from the time we came here,' she said.


yakuza said...


hope they will not withdraw. there would have been some serious price reduction

TV & Radio Sri Lanka said...

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