The tele­com land­scape

Southasia - - BRIEFINGS -

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.

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