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Lanka Bell goes for Rs. 3b optic cable

New vistas in voice and data solutions:

Rs. 3 billion investment by Lanka Bell to link Sri Lanka to the world's largest private undersea fibre optic cable system will bring unrestricted broadband access to the local telecommunications sector.

This will elevate the country's leading CDMA operator to a major enterprise solutions provider, the company said yesterday.

Announcing that the Sri Lanka link to the 'Falcon' segment of the FLAG Telecom cable has now gone live, Lanka Bell which owns the cable's Sri Lanka Landing Station as well as capacity rights, said the country gaining access to only its second international cable network and a terabit private undersea cable system would open up a vista of new opportunities for growth in voice and data solutions and enable the extension of high speed Internet to remote parts of the island.

"Our initial decision to partner with Reliance Globalcom of the Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group to extend the Falcon cable segment from Trivandrum to Colombo was in no small measure motivated by patriotism," Lanka Bell Managing Director Prasad Samarasinghe said.

"Now, with the project completed, we are ready to maximise to the fullest, the commercial potential that the cable brings to Sri Lanka in the form of global voice, Internet solutions, managed bandwidth solutions based on multi protocol Label Switching (MPLs), International Private Leased Circuits (IPLCs) and value added services," he said.

He said the 1.2 Terabit cable laid at a cost of US $ 27 million would provide adequate bandwidth capacity for many years, and enable Lanka Bell and other telecommunications companies to offer a wide range of business solutions to Sri Lanka's corporate sector.

"We have taken a quantum leap virtually overnight, into a new paradigm of secure high speed data solutions that will enable Sri Lanka to become a hub for business process outsourcing and data management," Mr. Samarasinghe said, adding that Lanka Bell planned to roll out several new services in these areas in the weeks and months ahead.

"The opportunities are literally limitless," he said. "For Lanka Bell, the arrival of the cable means that the company has evolved into a total solutions group that can serve the information and data management needs of enterprise clients not just in Sri Lanka but in any part of the world that is linked by the cable."

Senior Manager, International Services Dimantha Fernando said: "Lanka Bell would be connected to the 65,000 km long FLAG global network across all five continents. This undersea cable would enable us to offer direct global connectivity and a complete end to end solution with guaranteed reliability.

The core benefit of this project would be high speed, high bandwidth and International connectivity at an affordable price. Enhancement of services would significantly improve investment recovery since it is capacity based.

"The Falcon segment of the FLAG cable links the Middle East, a part of Africa, India, Sri Lanka and the Maldives to the global FLAG network, which comprises of 66 landing stations in more than 50 countries, the highest number of PoP (Points of Presence) on a global submarine fibre optic cable network.

The cable enables clear international connectivity around the globe, linking key business markets in Asia, the Middle East, Europe and USA.

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