Financial Times

Airtel says mobile operators blocking its entry in Lankan market

Bharti Airtel, India’s biggest mobile operator due to launch operations in Sri Lanka later this year, last week reignited a dispute with the other four existing operators here saying they were blocking Airtel’s entry.

“Recently, four existing mobile operators of Sri Lanka issued a joint rejoinder to Airtel’s plea for fairness in inter connection. The operators, while welcoming Airtel to Sri Lanka also advocated a level playing field. Airtel welcomes their welcoming us and would soon like to see them walking the talk,” the statement said.

However Airtel maintains its stand that it is being discriminated against and that all efforts are being made by the same mobile operators to block or delay the entry of Airtel.

“The very fact that a joint statement had to be issued is indicative of the coming together of various operators to block a new entrant,” the statement said. Some weeks ago Airtel accused other operators of blocking its smooth passage into the Sri Lankan mobile market to which the four operators in a joint statement rejected the charge.

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