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Tue 20 Jul 2010 03:41 PM

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Etisalat to spend $163m on Sri Lanka expansion

Expansion will cover former war zones, while upgrading technology to 3G standard.

Etisalat to spend $163m on Sri Lanka expansion
GROWTH PLANS: Etisalat said on Tuesday it will invest $163m in an expansion of its Sri Lankan network.

Emirates Telecommunication Corp, the Arab world's second-largest telecom operator by market value, said on Tuesday it will invest $163m in an expansion of its Sri Lankan network.

"We will invest $163m in the next six months to expand the network," said Duminda Rathnayake, the chief executive officer for Etisalat in Sri Lanka.

The expansion will also cover former war zones in the island nation's north and east, while upgrading the technology to 3G standard and the company expects to increase the coverage to 80 percent of Sri Lanka from a current 65 percent, he said.

Etisalat in October bought Tigo, the Sri Lankan mobile operations of Millicom International for $207m.

Etisalat is the third largest mobile phone operator in Sri Lanka with around 3 million customers after Dialog Axiata and Mobitel, a subsidiary of Sri Lanka Telecom. (Reuters)

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