Bharti Airtel Ltd. India’s top mobile operator, launched operations as the fifth mobile operator in Sri Lanka today. Airtel delayed its launch from mid-2008 due to interconnection issues with local telecom firms. And the hype was on high for the last couple of months, when spam mails loaded many of our mail boxes promosing reduced costs on Airtel.
Even Amali Nanayakkara, the CEO of Bharti Airtel Lanka, was quoted by Reuters saying that the company will provide simplified tariffs to increase usage time and reduce costs. But the tariff packages that were revealed on the launch today are not so promising as expected. To worsen situation is that some of the packages offered by the existing competitors such as Dialog and Mobitel are far more beneficial to many customers. Few of my friends who are using the Dialog Blaster package were saying they have dropped their plan even to checkout the free SIM given by Airtel.
It is a known fact that many Sri Lankans use prepaid packages and most of the other operators are targeting this segment heavily. But the prepaid packages from Aritel, I would prefer to to use the word “shit”, meaning no use! The post paid packages are someewhat ok, because of the montlhy discounts given matching the monthly rental.
The only good thing I have noticed is the data packages, ie. the HSDPA Mobile Internet Packages, those seems cheaper than that of Dialog and Mobitel. Also all hte Airtel connections come 3G enabled. But my onely question would be whether they have that much of good coverage.
Overall I’m dissapoined with the launch of Airtel as I feel it didn’t satisfy the expectations of the majority. May be this is their work plan, with some long term goal, lets hope for the best…!