Dialog will increase its aggressive focus in expanding its services to reach every Sri Lankan citizen. It will offer a combination of services including GSM, State-of-the-Art 3G, CDMA fixed line and Wi Max broadband internet services, said Chief Executive of Dialog Dr. Hans Wijayasuriya in an exclusive interview with The Island on Friday.
He was commenting on the agreement signed with the Broad of Investment (BOI) by the Chairman of Dialog Telekom Ltd and Telekom Malaysia Bhd, Tan Sri Dato` Ir Muhammad Radzi bin Haji Mansor on Thursday to invest Rs. 33 billion in Sri Lanka`s telecommunications and media sectors, over the next two years.
Dialog now becomes Sri Lanka`s largest investor with a total investment of over Rs. 90 billion. The investment will be targeted at a large scale expansion of services across all regions of Sri Lanka. Among the infrastructure investments expanded will be the company`s GSM and 3G mobile networks, introduction of state-of-the-art value added services and the establishment of broadband transmission networks across the island based on Fibre Optic and microwave transmission technologies.
A substantial investment will be made in order to provide international Bandwidth to Sri Lanka`s ICT sector via the SeMeWe 4 submarine cable. The network of customer service centers and other support infrastructure will also be expanded through additional investments, Dr. Wijayasuriya said.
However a substantial portion of the total investment pledged by the Dialog Group will be directed at fixed line telephony and broadband services through Dialog Broadband Networks (Pvt) Ltd (DBN), and on Digital Television Broadcast Services via Asset Media (Pvt) Ltd.
The investments in DNBA will be utilized towards an aggressive focus directed towards the growth of CDMA based rural fixed telecommunications infrastructure, WiMax based wireless broadband infrastructure and for the deployment of a national fibre optic backbone. Investments in Asset Media will be targeted at the expansion of the company`s Digital Satellite TV services and for the deployment of Terrestrial Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB) in Sri Lanka.
`Dialog`s investments in the telecom sector in Sri Lanka now exceeds US$ 800 million is an appreciation of our commitment to and confidence in the Sri Lankan Market. It is one of our most compelling success stories outside Malaysia`, said Chairman of Dialog, Tan Sri Dato` Ir Muhammad.
`We are grateful to the investor friendly policies of the Sri Lankan Government`, he added. Dialog Telekom has already delivered impressive results and through the investment the company intends to fulfill of playing a bigger role not only in the countrys telecom sector but also by delivering state-of-the-art ICT and digital TV Services.
Dialog GSM led the mobile phone industry in Sri Lanka since the late 90`s bringing it to a level of technology on par with the developed world, added Dr. Wijayasuriya. Dialog GSM is the country`s largest cellular network with a client base of over 3.5 million subscribers. `We hold a market share of 60 per cent of the mobile sector and 45 per cent of the total telecommunication subscribers`, he said.
Dialog is also the largest company on the Colombo Stock Exchange in terms of market capitalisation. `We reiterate and reinforce our commitment to the Sri Lankan consumer and will focus on developing Sri Lanka`s ICT infrastructure spanning mobile and fixed telecommunications, broadband and digital television services to world class standards`, he added.
`We have confidence in our ability to deliver substantial social dividends in the future, as we have done in the past, both to all consumers and communities across Sri Lanka as well as healthy returns to the shareholding public`, he said.
Dialog is proud of its capacity to implement and deliver on its promises, that too ahead of schedule. `We delivered on our 2006 pledges one year of schedule and see similar progress in our new investment pledges. This has been possible due to the determination and commitment of the Dialog Team, consistent support of our principal investor Telekom Malaysia Bhd and the encouragement and guidance of the TRCSL and other agencies of the Government of Sri Lanka, for which we are very grateful`, concluded Dr. Wijayasuriya.