Mobitel signs BOI deal for $ 60 million investment for LTE network expansion

Tuesday, 3 May 2011 00:08 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Sri Lanka Telecom Mobitel has signed a BOI agreement to trial and deploy a Long Term Evolution (LTE) network for the first time in Sri Lanka.

This will be part of the company’s network expansion project and will enable Mobitel to import/purchase (locally) project-related items free of Customs duty.

Mobitel has committed an investment of approximately US$ 60 m in its latest network expansion, adding 1,000 LTE capable radio base stations to the existing network infrastructure. With this, the company’s investments committed to date in its LTE/3.5G/2.5G networks and service offerings amount to over US$ 400 m.

“Technology change is a key determinant of a country’s economic growth and therefore the introduction of the LTE network is expected to drive growth in the telecommunication sector as well as improve competitiveness and growth in several other economic sectors heavily depended on infocom,” BOI Chairman and Director General Jayampathi Bandaranayake said.

“We are happy to support Sri Lanka Telecom Mobitel in its endeavour to provide the latest ICT technologies, which is sure to catalyse national development,” he added.

LTE is the latest standard in the mobile network technology evolution after GSM/EDGE and 3.5G/HSPA network technologies and Mobitel is gearing towards demonstrating broadband speeds nearing 100Mbps in downlink and 50Mbps in uplink using this LTE technology when the spectrum is available.  

Director General of Telecommunications Anusha Palpita said: “TRCSL is committed to assist all the telecommunication operators in Sri Lanka to develop world class telecommunication network facilities in the country. The spectrum allocation for the commercial operation of LTE will soon be finalised, where the operators will be able to launch nationwide enhanced ICT infrastructure to benefit all businesses and consumers in Sri Lanka through this latest evolution in mobile broadband technology.”

Sri Lanka Telecom Mobitel Chairman Nimal Welgama said: “Harnessing the power of ICT to its fullest potential will be the key in realizing hyper exponential pace of growth which is needed to build our nation and to do so rapidly.  This requires next generation ICT available and affordable to the citizens of our country which will help eventually realise the President’s vision of elevating e-literacy rate in Sri Lanka. In this regard, this investment in the latest LTE infrastructure will be a significant step towards driving unparalleled growth to propel our country forward.”

ZTE Corporation of China was selected by Mobitel as its technology partner to deploy this state-of-the-art LTE ready Next-Generation-Network.

Sri Lanka Telecom Mobitel, the national mobile service provider and the official sponsor of the National Cricket Team, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sri Lanka Telecom. In January 2004, the company launched its fully-fledged 2.5G GSM network that is EDGE/GPRS enabled and designed to operate on dual band. In December 2007, the company launched its 3.5G HSPA network – the first Super 3.5G network in South Asia.

Further, Mobitel successfully demonstrated HSPA + MIMO technology with down link speed up to 28.8 mbps for the fi rst time in the South Asian region. Investments committed to date in the 3.5G/2.5G networks and service offering amount to over US$ 400 m.