Indian telecom giant Bharti Airtel is looking to establish itself as a major player in the island nation's mobile telephony space as it prepares to launch its $200-million operation in Sri Lanka early next year.
Mobile penetration in Sri Lanka is pegged at around 30 per cent, with approximately 2 million mobile users being added each year.
"The Airtel philosophy is to stay beside the consumer and strive to find fresh and innovative ways to add value to their lives", CEO of Airtel Sri Lanka Amali Nanayakkara said in a statement.
Bharti Airtel Lanka Private Limited, a subsidiary of Bharti Airtel Limited, has already announced plans to launch 2G and 3G services in Sri Lanka by the end of the current financial year (2007-08).
Bharti Airtel has already signed a 150-million-dollar deal with China's Huawei Technologies to set up a mobile phone network in Sri Lanka.
Bharti plans to roll out the network in Sri Lanka over the next three years, covering 70 per cent of the tropical island, where it sees substantial room for growth.
The rest is shared between Mobitel, a unit of Sri Lanka Telecom, Tigo, part of Millicom International Cellular, and Hutchison Telecom.