Airtel Lanka completes four years of market transformation in Sri Lanka

Friday, 11 January 2013 00:05 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Bharti Airtel, a leading global telecommunications company with operations in 20 countries across Asia and Africa, has completed four years of operations in Sri Lanka with an expanded footprint and a growing suite of seamless voice and data services facilitated by an upgraded network.

The company, which entered Sri Lanka on 12 January 2009, has transformed Sri Lanka’s telecom landscape by introducing best practices acquired from being the world’s fourth largest telecom operator.

With an investment of over $ 325 million in its Sri Lanka operations, Airtel Lanka continues to further strengthen its market position by offering products and services that are innovative, affordable and relevant for customers in Sri Lanka.

Bharti Airtel Lanka Chief Executive Officer/Managing Director Suren Goonewardene said: “As Airtel completes four years of operations, overcoming many challenges in Sri Lanka, it is encouraging to see the tremendous response our organisation and our brand has received from customers and partners in this market. Despite intense competition, the organisation has grown tremendously, resulting in over 40,000 touch points established across the island striving to satisfy the needs of all users within the Sri Lankan community. Our IDD, data and roaming strategies have been very effective in contributing towards the positive growth of Airtel Lanka. Going forward, with new attractions, innovative products and services, affordable prices and unbeatable customer experience we will continue to leverage our global learning towards further enhancing Airtel’s market position in Sri Lanka. We are confident that Airtel is well placed to further capitalise on the huge telecom opportunity that this country offers.”

The year 2012 was a significant year for Bharti Airtel in Sri Lanka, marking the completion of an extensive exercise to enhance its coverage across the island. By December 2012, Airtel Lanka announced the achievement of reliable islandwide coverage provided by 1600 towers covering all 25 districts. Of these, over 650 towers offer 3G services to each region. The modern network architecture and infrastructure translates into a smoother experience for customers by supporting back end systems on both the pre-paid and post-paid platforms.

Earlier in 2012, Airtel also completed a six-month network upgrade in the Colombo and Greater Colombo areas which enabled it to deliver data services of unparalleled quality. The upgraded locations have the capability of delivering high speed HSPA+ at selected sites whilst carrier grade ISP solutions have been deployed to ensure consistent data speeds.

In a strong endorsement of the Bharti Airtel service assurance, the operator was ranked first among all mobile broadband operators in the speed monitoring tests carried out by the Telecom Regulatory Commission in January, February and August respectively.

The Airtel Lanka offering of technology innovation and service excellence has seen rapid adoption rates among Sri Lankan mobile subscribers: in the space of just four years, the subscriber base has grown tremendously to 1.7 million active subscribers across all geographies in the country. With its suite of digital mobile services which includes voice telephony, voice mail, data services and GSM based services; the company is well on its way to achieving its vision of becoming the network of choice of Sri Lankans.

The latest and fifth entrant to Sri Lanka’s telecom landscape, Airtel Lanka has clearly emerged as the fastest growing network; its impact on the market included the introduction of several innovative services, such as the lowest rates for voice services, per second billing, the lowest IDD rates, the lowest international voice and data roaming rates and the concept of no hidden costs. To subscribers, this has meant affordability and accessibility to telecommunication services that are current and relevant to modern, individual and corporate customer needs.

Being a catalyst of change, Airtel Lanka has also been privy to the global human resources training to offer their local employees first class training, development and secondment opportunities that make them extremely competitive within the labour force both locally and internationally.

With the company’s HR practices ranked amongst the best and sought after in the country, 2012 also saw Airtel Lanka winning a silver award against a contingent of many other renowned corporates in Sri Lanka at the HRM Awards 2012.

In terms of corporate social responsibility, Airtel Lanka is making steady progress towards its goal of extending corporate social responsibility way beyond building the telecommunication infrastructure that forms the framework of the economy and the society – with their campaign to create awareness and fight against Child Abuse. This project helps protect the youngest member of any society – a child, thus ensuring that this country becomes a better place for children to live in.

Airtel Lanka also made its foray into the field of sports sponsorships in the year 2012 through its associations with Manchester United and football, rugby, tennis, golf, rowing and basketball. The company has been involved in the development of sports, as evidenced by its various sponsorships at school level, district level and islandwide.

While Airtel Lanka continues to be involved beyond just a mere investment with all its sports sponsorship stakeholders, it is committed to developing local talent to international standards, thus fostering school sports to new heights as well as contributing actively towards the positive development of youth in Sri Lanka.

The company has also received accreditations such as British Standards Institution’s ISO 27001:2005 and BS 25999 -2:2007 for its continuous efforts towards information security and business continuity.