Exchanging of the partnership agreement between Sri Lanka Telecom and Mobitel Chairman with Mr. P. G. Kumarasinghe Sirisena and Citibank the Citi Country Officer Mr. Ravin Basnayake. Also present were (from left) Mobitel Senior General Manager Human Resources / Legal & Regulatory Affairs Mr. Namal Ratnayake, Mobitel Chief Financial Officer Mr. Sudharshana Geeganage, Mobitel Chief Executive Officer Mr. Nalin Perera, Citibank Director, Head - Corporate & Investment Bank Mr. Kavinda de Zoysa and Mobitel Senior General Manager Engineering & Operations Mr. Rasantha Hettithanthrige.
Mobitel, Sri Lanka’s National Mobile Service Provider has embarked on the biggest and most significant 4.5G/4G-LTE Network expansion in Sri Lanka. This is the largest investment in network infrastructure funded through financing facilities of Citibank.
Mobitel will increase the country’s 4.5G/4G-LTE coverage, thereby strengthening its No.1 status for High-Speed Mobile Broadband in Sri Lanka, having already received the Globally-acclaimed Ookla® Speed Test Award for 2017 with similar investments. Mobitel was the first to commercially deploy 4.5G/4G+ in South Asia, and the network expansion will also include upgrades to keep Sri Lanka at the forefront of technology leadership by offering wider coverage of 4.5G/4G+, NB-IoT (Narrow Band Internet of Things) services to its customers, and modernizing its network with NFV/SDN technologies and host of other next generation platforms to make it more agile, thus paving the way for easy adoption of 5G in the near future.
The CEO of Mobitel, Nalin Perera says, “Mobitel is committed to invest in network expansions, bringing the latest in mobile technology to Sri Lanka on par with global standards. 4.5G will act as a bridge for the eventual adoption of the 5G standard, while bringing significant improvements to Mobitel’s existing 4G network by allowing them to handle more data-intensive applications such as HD Voice with MP3 level quality, Ultra HD Entertainment, Ultra Dense Sensor Networks, AR/VR based Advanced Gaming LTE based broadband trunking systems (LiTRA) etc. Our expansion is ongoing and will further improve speeds and end user experience. We are maintaining our leadership by executing some of the fastest expansions and will continue to do so in order to maintain our market position.”
Mobitel’s partnership with Citibank for network investments is pivotal in achieving its future plans. Commenting on the partnership, the Citi Country Officer Ravin Basnayake said, “We are pleased to partner Mobitel on their rapid network expansion drive. We are honored to have had the opportunity to bring Citibank’s financial expertise to support Mobitel’s aspirations of achieving regional technology leadership position. We look forward to working with Mobitel as they transform the industry.”
Having launched the first Super-3.5G HSPA network in South Asia in December 2007, and subsequently trialed HSPA+, MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output) in 2009, another first in the region, Mobitel went on to demonstrate 4G-LTE technology also for the first time in South Asia in 2011. Accordingly, Mobitel launched its 4G-LTE Network in 2013 to provide unparalleled broadband experience to Sri Lankans. Keeping ahead with pioneering new technologies, Mobitel trialed 4.5G LTE-Advanced Pro Technology with CA (Carrier Aggregation) of three bands, again for the first time in South Asia in June 2016. In 2017, Mobitel was able to deploy the first Sub-1G Mobile Broadband Network in Sri Lanka based on 900MHz spectrum innovatively to provide superior coverage some rural areas of the country. On 1st February 2018 Mobitel launched the First Commercial 4.5G/4G+ Mobile Network in South Asia