Sri Lanka’s National Mobile Service Provider Sri Lanka Telecom Mobitel, celebrated 20 illustrious years yesterday. Commencing operations in 1993, Mobitel was one of the foremost mobile service providers in Sri Lanka, beginning operations using first generation cellular technology, Advanced Mobile Phone System (AMPS) and Time division multiple access (TDMA).
From these beginnings Mobitel has steadily grown into a leader in the field of ICT, taking the industry towards transforming Sri Lanka into the ‘Wonder of Asia’.
In October 2002, Mobitel became a fully-owned subsidiary of Sri Lanka Telecom. During the following years Mobitel grew from strength to strength, launching its fully-fledged EDGE/GPRS enabled 2.5G GSM network, which is designed to operate on dual band in 2004.
Mobitel again established its dominance of the mobile communication industry by being one of the first ten mobile service providers in the world to launch a 3.5G HSPA network in 2007.
Mobitel was also the first service provider with a super 3.5G network in South Asia. Furthermore, Mobitel successfully demonstrated HSPA + MIMO technology with downlink speeds of up to 28.8 Mbps and carried out a successful trial of 4G/LTE technology with downlink speeds exceeding 96 Mbps, for the first time in the South Asian region.
Mobitel recently launched Dual Carrier HSPA+ technology and it is now equipped with the country’s first mobile 4G/LTE equipment.
The company has continued with its strategy positioned around value innovation and customer centricity, making the best out of the technology being used, distribution systems, product portfolio and value added services with heightened acumen focussed on customer needs and interests.
Whilst focusing on a strong customer-centric strategy, through optimum levels of service quality, service delivery and customer care, the company has expanded its distribution channels and introduced a divisional structure to optimise channel management.
The company is in the process of upgrading its network. The current stage of expansion is slated to add 1,800 new base stations islandwide, increasing the current number from 3,500 aiming for 100% population coverage.
With the development and transformation that Mobitel is undergoing, it is well poised to assume a lead role in bringing cutting edge mobile technology that would inevitably help shape the next phase of ICT technological development in Sri Lanka.
Mobitel has now become a leading operator servicing the North and East following three decades of strife; areas which are a priority component of the Government’s development strategy.
Sri Lanka Telecom Mobitel Chairman Nimal Welgama, commenting on Mobitel’s 20th anniversary said, the philosophy of Mobitel is ‘We Care. Always’ as such the company has continued to deliver upon this promise by being customer centric for the past 20 years.
Being the best of the best
Our subscriber base spans from businessmen to farmers in the furthest corners of the island. The service Mobitel offers is unparalleled, catering to all segments of the Sri Lankan public.
This stands testament to the numerous awards we have won over the years for the strength of our brand, for our engineering excellence and the list goes on.
The company has gone from strength to strength and it is my belief that it will only develop further. The ICT transformation that has taken place in the island, ever since Mobitel became the National Mobile Service Provider is beyond comparison.
I would like to congratulate the entire team at Mobitel who has made the company what it is today and hope that this growth trend continues.”
This year, Mobitel expanded its customer care infrastructure to both the Northern and Southern regions of the country by opening contact centres in Sooriyaweva and Mullaitivu.
This resulted in creating new ICT based employment opportunities for youth in these areas. The company also established an IT Development Centre in Kegalle.
Furthermore, Mobitel took it upon themselves to further empower employees of the state sector along with the Ministry of Telecommunication and Information Technology, and offered Upahara value added internet service, to the new ‘Upahara Internet’ offered free-of-charge HSPA mobile broadband dongles to all existing Upahara voice customers who are prestigious state sector employees.
Making a significant headway
The company also made significant headway in terms of its financial achievements with its Q3 2012 financials recording an impressive net profit surpassing the Rs. 1 billion milestone.
Commenting on the Company’s 20th anniversary, Mobitel CEO Lalith De Silva said, “Twenty years ago, Sri Lanka witnessed the formation of a world-class corporate personality. Today, built upon a brand promise of ‘We Care, Always’, Mobitel strives to uplift lives, create new opportunities and develop Sri Lanka’s ICT landscape.
Our work over the last two decades has consolidated our repute of being the National Mobile Service Provider. With investments counting over US$ 500 million, Mobitel continues to stay deeply committed towards creating memorable customer experiences through a range of innovative products and services. Our current development plans are aimed at 100% population coverage; to bridge the digital divide, with special focus laid on education, improving efficiencies in the business sector and encouraging fruitful public-private partnerships.
Embarking on a new journey this year, Mobitel focuses on offering a wide range of Enterprise solutions aimed at making our public and private sector enterprises more efficient and globally competitive.
While celebrating our 20th anniversary, we at Sri Lanka Telecom Mobitel look towards the future with optimism and courage, to be the driving force of the ICT industry contributing, towards Sri Lanka becoming the ‘Wonder of Asia’.”