Etisalat’s latest Dual Carrier HSPA+ upgrade leads the way
By Shanuka Tissera
Etisalat, one of the country’s leading mobile solutions companies, held a workshop on broadband internet on 15 August at their head office. The detailed study gave an insight into internet trends within South Asia along with announcement of Etislat’s latest internet innovation.
|Senior Manager Marketing Gamika De Silva (left) briefing the media. Etisalat Lanka CEO Dumindra Ratnayaka and Chief Commercial Officer Robert Lee are also present – Pic by Daminda Harsha Perera|
With the evolution of mobile broadband technology, which saw analogue phones running on one GB, 25 KHz specs to the day of 3G running on 5 MHz frequency. Etisalat have now released technology that is sure to lead the mobile broadband industry here in Sri Lanka, namely 3.75G HSPA+ granting download speeds of up to 21 Mbps and upload speed of 5.76Mbs and the latest DC-HSPA+, which is the fastest internet solution in the market. The Dual-Carrier HSPA+ will give users a download speed of 42 Mbps and an upload speed of 5.76 Mbps.
The upgrade to DC-HSPA+ will mean Etisalat will be the first network in South Asia to offer such internet services and is the 63rd operator in the world to deploy the Dual Carrier technology. It is an agile network that is easy to expand and upgrade. The dongle and Wi-Fi routers are now being brought to market by Etisalat where a DC-HSPA+ dongle will cost approximately Rs. 16,000 and routers from Rs. 25,000. The technology works by creating two lanes, hence delivering double speeds.
Since 2009, Sri Lanka has seen mobile broadband penetration levels increase sharply. In 2009, MBB penetration was a mere 0.5% to 3.5% by March of this year. There is a mutual agreement today in the world that everything is going online. Internet technologies have been accepted extremely well by Sri Lankan users and numbers are set to grow.
Etisalat CEO Dumindra Ratnayake, commenting on the company’s mobile strategy, said: “We want to push android sales, we see the future of the mobile market being heavily dominating by androids and this is why we are providing customers with many offers to own an android/tablet pc.”
The strong team at Etisalat has come to conclude that there are a few factors with large weighting that may be hindering levels of growth in the internet market. The language barrier being the first problem, there are many websites that cater for all languages but it is known that the English language is the most common on the internet.
Etisalat CCO Robert Lee explained that the second problem is that people are still unaware of how the internet affects one’s daily life. “We have people today who listen to music, watch movies and engulf themselves in online social activity, but they are still yet to appreciate the need for a strong internet infrastructure or simply don’t realise that they are using the internet.”
A final key problem is dealing with the fear that parents have on the internet. As generations grow, the fear of internet will diminish, but Etisalat wish to educate both parents and children to use this facility to the best of their ability in a safe and fun manner.
Other product lines from Etisalat are Net Nanny and Etisalat Education programmes. Net Nanny is high end internet security software providing round the clock help, advice and protection from the many corrupt users around the world.
The second game changer is Etisalat Education programmes, which is self explanatory. It is important to note that there is a huge need for strong educational software in Sri Lanka currently.
Strong sales are synonymous for Etisalat, which continually updates its software to meet the demands of the people.
With 12 million users watching the Olympics on mobile devices, the revolution in technology is very real today. Etisalat, after much research and development, is confident that this innovative thinking will help secure good growth for the company.