There has been a substantial growth in the mobile phone industry with majority of the population using mobile phones to conduct day-to-day activities. The industry standards are on par with the developed world and the country has updated technologies and standards in today s context, Telecommunication Regulatory Commission Sri Lanka Director General Priyantha Kariyapperuma told Daily News Business.
The ubiquitous mobile phone. Picture by Saliya Rupasinghe
The mobile subscriber base increased from 11 million to 13.5 million for the last six months and growth momentum is continuing.
The mobile broad band - facility to access the internet through the mobile phone has become a popular choice among people, specially the younger generation. It is the future of the industry, he said.
A total of 565,652 mobile phones were imported to the country for the last eleven months including 564,519 new mobile phones. The CIF value for the mobile phones imported was Rs 2.4 billion. The highest price of the phone imported was over Rs 71,000. During 2008 a total of 998,818 mobile phones were imported. The decrease may be due to smuggling of mobile phones in to the country or saturation of users, he said.
The countries that mobile phones are imported include India, China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Pakistan, France, UK, Finland, Hungary, Denmark, Thailand, Germany, Philippines, Japan, Australia, Austria, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia.
Steps have been taken to curtail smuggling by using IEME numbers and introducing devices to combat this menace, he said.
Meanwhile a statement issued by Telecommunication Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL) said the Government has set up a special committee with representation of three strategically important institutes - the Presidential Secretariat, TRCSL and ICTA with the intention of providing affordable high speed broadband internet services to all citizens of the country.
These institutions will work jointly to streamline and develop data communication services under this initiative.
The national broadband consultative committee will focus mainly on high speed internet services which is regarded as the catalyst in socio-economic development.
A national policy for high speed broadband internet will be introduced to the country s data communication sector shortly to convert Sri Lanka in to a supplier of digital goods and services to the global market, the statement said.