The telecom landscape
Bharti Airtel has announced the launch of the initial phase of a comprehensive network expansion exercise across 250 plus sites in urban, suburban and rural pockets across all districts of Sri Lanka. The announcement came amid rumors that the company was close to selling its operations in Sri Lanka to the UAEbased Etisalat. The two companies have reportedly been negotiating for over five months. The officials of Bharti Airtel have declined to comment on the news.
Bharti Airtel has been operating in Sri Lanka since 2009 and has invested over $300 million to roll out its services. But the company continues to make losses, according to Sri Lankan newspaper Ceylon FT, which also reported that the company had been complaining about unfair regulations in Sri Lanka as new players were not allowed to be flexible with tariffs. Airtel did not participate in the auction for the 4G spectrum, which fuelled rumors that it did not have long-term plans for the Lankan market.