Via Google Loon, SL to be world’s first with 4G-LTE coverage

Friday, 4 March 2016 00:24 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

By Charumini de Silva

The completion of Google’s revolutionary Project Loon initiative in Sri Lanka will make the country first in the world to have coverage of 4G-LTE, the Government revealed yesterday.

“This achievement would ensure faster internet speed of 10Mbps throughout the country, benefitting the people,” Telecommunication and Digital Infrastructure Minister Harin Fernando said yesterday.DFT-6-5

At present in urban areas of Sri Lanka, the average internet speed accounts for around 3 to 4 Mbps, while 80% is covered with of 1.5 Mbps. Thus, the completion of the Google Loon project will enable the entire country to enjoy 100% coverage of 4G-LTE at 10 Mpbs speed.  

“Innovation is what we need to become successful in this technology era,” he told at the launch of ‘Blackphone 2’ at Cinnamon Grand in Colombo yesterday.

The Government has invested heavily in the development of telecommunication and digital infrastructure, which he claims is the right direction to move Sri Lanka’s economy to the next wave of growth.

The Minister pointed out that usage of 10% internet has proven to increase Gross Domestic Production (DGP) by 1.2% and thereby the Government is in favour of encouraging and improving the industries engaged in the telecommunication and digital infrastructure to uplift the real economic growth of the country.

Outlining one of the major concerns of the Government, Fernando asserted that low penetration of new technology and devices was a setback to develop the telecommunication and IT sector. 

“Despite having all the infrastructure facilities to make use of smartphones in the country, Sri Lanka’s smartphone penetration level is at as low as 26%. We need a lot of innovation to come in and we encourage people to use new technology as well as devices,” the Minister stressed. 

In addition Fernando noted that the country will soon have total fibre-optic coverage adding that over 20,000kms are already covered to have speed internet towards becoming an IT hub for the region.

“Sri Lanka is moving ahead to be an IT based hub and we want to be the source point to Middle East, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh,” he stated.

Pix by Upul Abayasekara


 DFT-6-7Silent Circle Channel Director Michael Berg, Chelcey Telecom CEO Asela Waidyalankara, Telecommunication and Digital Infrastructure Minister Harin Fernando and Chelcey Holdings Director Roshan Motha


World’s most secure smartphone now in SL 

The world’s most secure phone, the Blackphone 2, which is a smartphone built from the ground-up to be private from design, was launched in Sri Lanka yesterday by Chelcey Telecom.

The launch was under the aegis of Minister of Telecommunication and Digital Infrastructure Harin Fernando.

The Minister said he has always been amazed with innovation and commended Chelcey Telecom for paving the pathway to innovation. 

Chelcey Telecom CEO Asela Waidyalankara stated that with nearly one million daily reported data threats globally, compromise of privacy is one of the biggest threats in today’s mobile world.  

“Businesses are constantly subject to privacy breaches, which could create extensive repercussions, putting all stakeholders at risk. Therefore, privacy now has to be part of the decision making agenda as the risk it poses is immense.  The Blackphone 2 guarantees security from the start, preloaded as it is with Silent Circle’s own apps, all of which place you in control of your communication and the data you share,” he added.

Noting that there is a great growth target market in Sri Lanka the firm initially intends to promote it to the Government, military and enterprises. 

“This is a niche product, and is after a market segment that wants to secure their data and devices. We are exploring market and how we are going to promote it in future,” Waidyalankara pointed out. 

He said that there are eight elite military forces and majority of fortune 500 companies use this device.

This technology is originated from Phil Zimmermann, one of the god fathers of encryption and privacy. The Blackphone 2, which was launched in the US only in September last year, works on enhanced Android OS, guaranteeing privacy without compromise – delivering expected usability, but eliminating security risks inherent in other smartphones. It has a faster processor, a larger display, a multitude of next generation features, is Google Play enabled and combines Android usability with the enhanced privacy and security of Silent OS.

Blackphone 2, is priced at Rs. 144,000 and will be made available at leading mobile service provider outlets islandwide in the immediate future.

Channel Director of Silent Circle Michael Berg added saying the seamless integration with leading MDM systems possessed by this Smartphone enables it to integrate into the business immediately so enterprises that are continuously on the go.  

“The use of a multiple phones too is eliminated as the Blackphone 2 has up to four separate virtual phones on one device, securely compartmentalized.  Each space can be customized to fit to individual’s requirements, with access and control solely by the Blackphone user,” he added.

Chelcey Telecom is a subsidiary of Chelcey Holdings.  It is a young dynamic company that plans to introduce exciting and innovative technology products to the Sri Lankan market. (CDS)