Increased tariff effective from today | Daily News

Increased tariff effective from today

Admits wrongdoing and accepts blame for current crisis
Airtel Sri Lanka CEO  Ashish Chandra.  Picture by Wimal Karunatillake.
Airtel Sri Lanka CEO Ashish Chandra. Picture by Wimal Karunatillake.

The profitability of Sri Lanka’s Telecommunication industry is challenged owing to surging operational costs, mainly attributed to recent electricity tariff revision, fuel price hike and increase in the dollar rate.

This is putting a huge strain on the profitability of the telecom sector, Airtel Sri Lanka CEO/ MD -Ashish Chandra told ‘Daily News Business’. Meanwhile, the Telecommunication Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL) has approved upward tariff revision for all Mobile, Fixed, and Pay TV service providers. The TRCSL said the increase in tariff will come into effect from Monday, September 5, 2022.

“The upward tariff revision was being requested based on our operating cost which has gone up by 30-40 % whereas our revenue continues to be the same. Tariff hike is needed to reflect the prevailing realities and to provide good quality service to consumers.”

Commenting on the widening of the import ban which includes laptops, computers and mobile phones, Chandra said, “I think it is the need of the hour. Sri Lanka is currently struggling to import many essential items including fuel. I think the most important thing is to ensure that the day-to-day life of Sri Lankans is not challenged and the main task of the government is to get the economy back on track or to avoid any economic meltdown.”

He however stated that the non-availability of laptops and mobile phones due to the import ban will put a strain on digital penetration in the country.

Speaking on Airtel’s 5G strategy in Sri Lanka, he said the finalization of policy measures relating to 5G by the Government will help for the successful rollout of 5G service in the country.

“Successful rollout of 5G in the country depends on multiple policy decisions which are yet to be taken and finalized by the Government.” According to Chandra 5G involves putting up numerous small sets or the availability of street furniture which include lamp posts on the road, government buildings, bus shelters and many others. He said access to these facilities has to be provided to the telecommunication providers.

“However, if we launch 5G, not many customers will be able to use it due to the lack of 5G enabled phones in the country.”

In addition, policy decisions relating to the allocation of spectrum in bandwidth and availability of fibre optic cable to every tower have to be determined and finalized, he added.




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