ECONOMYNEXT – Dialog Axiata of Sri Lanka said it had added 515 mobile towers during a coronavirus pandemic to bring the total to 4,000, including ‘streetlight’ transceivers, and also increased the capacity of base stations existing.

As part of a recent budget, tax breaks were granted for new towers.

“We are grateful to the Sri Lanka Telecommunications Regulatory Commission, Board of Investment and relevant authorities for facilitating this important milestone and rapid expansions to serve our consumers,” said Supun Weerasinghe, Managing Director of Dialog Group. Axiata.

“We appreciate the support provided by our partners to accelerate deployments despite the challenges caused by the pandemic. “

Dialog said there had been over 100% growth in mobile data and 200% in landline data traffic during the coronavirus pandemic.

Its network carries 60% of total traffic, the company said.

Dialog said it had upgraded capacity to 2,831 4G mobile towers and 1,816 fixed broadband towers while it planned to upgrade the capacity of more than 75 percent of network sites by the end of the year.

Dialog said it has increased its capacity through better use of spectrum allocated to the 4G mobile network with more investment in 40 MHz spectrum in the 2,600 MHz band and reallocating 13 MHz of frequency previously used for 2G and 3G to 4G broadband with regulator approval.

The company said it will invest US $ 207 million in 2021, which is part of the US $ 254.1 million committed under an agreement with the Board of Investment in February 2020.

The 4000th tower was commissioned at Thihawa, Kurunegala in July.

“This new tower serves 20 villages with fixed and mobile 4G coverage, and not only enables students to engage in meaningful online learning, but also changes the way communities can now use the power of connectivity to eventually transform their work and businesses digitally. Said Oshada Senanayake, director general of the Sri Lanka Telecommunications Regulatory Commission, quoted in the statement.

Dialog says it is offering a low-cost 25 GB package for the Zoom and Microsoft teams for 165 rupees per month, to meet the educational needs of school children.

Sri Lanka’s latest Yahapalana administration in one of a series of elitist urban taxes imposed a fine of Rs 250,000 to discourage cell towers, critics say.

Sri Lankan media have shown images of rural children climbing trees and rooftops to gain mobile coverage for online classes.

The administration also denounced a “sugar tax” on beverages while taxing brown sugar at high rates to give tax arbitration or crony profits to two expropriated sugar companies.

Another urban elitist carbon tax has been slammed on old cars used by retirees and the less wealthy while taxing carcinogenic diesel significantly lower than unleaded gasoline. (Colombo / July08 / 2021)



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