Business Times

Telcos should contribute 1% GDP by 2011- TRC

Sri Lanka’s telecom industry are set to make profits next year with the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRC) setting the pace for telecom firms to contribute a total 1% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by next year, according to Chairman TRC Anusha Pelpita. “Last year this sector lost Rs. 15 billion due to the unhealthy competition, but next year, we want to change this. This year we’re working on it,” he told the Business Times.

The TRC will not proceed with Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd, the British firm which was commissioned to set up the Sri Lanka Space Communications Company last year, due to the high costs involved.

“To set up the satellite, there’s a cost of US$ 20 million. After sending it in orbit it is US$ 160 to US$ 180 million per annum, which is not feasible,” he said.The TRC chief reiterated that TRC is not averse to launching a satellite, but the regulator is exploring other options such as hiring satellites. Mr Pelpita said the recently implemented Interconnection Charge (IC) for calls shall be calculated on a per second basis. “According to the information that TRC has received, none of the operators will pass the IC to the customers,” he said.

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