Financial Times

Airtel launch delayed


Launch plans of Bharti Airtel Lanka (Airtel), the Sri Lankan arm of a leading Indian mobile operator, has been delayed as the company’s Indian parent has still not granted sanction to start operations as yet, according to senior telecom industry officials. "Airtel was looking at launching somewhere on December 23, and they said that this is a tentative date as the company still has not got approval from their head office in India for the launch date," one industry official told The Sunday Times FT.

He said it might well be launched next year. Airtel officials were unavailable for comment. Airtel which is the fifth operator cleared some issues last month with the existing operators – Dialog, Mobitel, Tigo and Hutch on Interconnection Charges last month.

An industry analyst said the increasing cut throat competition amongst the existing competitors has triggered a price war in the industry. "Airtel's impending launch has aggravated this situation," he added.

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