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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2680

Seventeen operators and nearly 15 million telephone subscribers are in Sri Lanka

By Quintus Perera - Asian Tribune

Colombo, 06 June, ( Priyantha Kariyapperuma, Director General, Telecommunications Regulatory Commission said that in the telecom sector in Sri Lanka 17 lincenses have been issued to operate and altogether around 15 million telephones are used in Sri Lanka. He was speaking at the Key Person’s Forum, a project organized by the Small and Medium Enterprise Developers (SMED). a project of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka(FCCISL) and Friedrich Naumann Foundation and the Forum was held at JAIC Hilton Hotel.

Kosala Wickramanayake, President, FCCISL welcoming the participants at the Forum said that telecommunications is very important for the business community. He said that the Forum that organizes seminars and discussions featuring eminent persons who share experiences and policy perspectives on a face to face basis on matters relevant to private sector.

Mr Kariyapperuma speaking on M-Commerce (Mobile- Commerce) Policies and Benefits t SMEs said that in M-Commerce the ways to enhance SME competitiveness is a simple communications to more complex applications using a network which provides access to direct marketing to business matching (Simple SMS using a network).

This would enable to obtain market information such as market prices, market alerts etc (SMS messages). He said that in overcoming traditional barriers digital content goes mobile and it facilitates financial transfers. M-banking has a huge potential for trade development and poverty reduction, Mr Kariyapperuma said. He said that mobile adoption is fast moving in developing countries now.

He said that there is a tremendous growth in the use of mobile telephones as well as fixed telephones and the growth between 2000 and 2008 would be fixed telephones from 0.76 million to 3.44 million and mobile telephones from 0.43 million leaping to a gigantic figure of 11.528 million. The cumulative investment in telephone industry is Rs 100,172 million in 2000 to Rs 218,369 million in 2007.

He said that M-Commerce could be defined as the ability to conduct commerce using a mobile device – a mobile phone (Cell Phone). M-Commerce is any transaction involving the transfer of ownership or rights to use goods and services by using mobile access to computer mediated networks with the help of an electronic device.

He said that there has been tremendous growth in telecom and consumer banking industry. Cellular phones of PDAs have become so popular that many businesses are beginning to use M-Commerce as a more efficient method for reaching and communicating with their customers.

Efficient transfer of data is over 2.5G, 3G and 3.5G networks which has been first by Sri Lanka in the South Asian region. The evolution of the handheld devices incorporating WAP, GPRS and HSPA and the cost of entry into mobile commerce is low for most entrants. He said that the unique features of the mobile device are user friendly and customers have been attached to mobile interface.

He said that M-Commerce attracts all players from all economic sectors from technology, finance, retail, media and all anticipate significant growth in commerce. Growth in mobile products such as ring-tones, games and graphics are also visible.

He said that M-banking permits cheaper financial services and reach many so-called “unbanked” and also these financial services boost entrepreneurship.

He said that in the case of policies there is the establishment of M-finance standards (telecom-technicalities and financial processes). There is dissemination of best practices to enable the environment for shared benefits for all stakeholders. The regulatory framework is under Electronic Transaction Act No. 19 of 2006 and Computer Crimes Act No.24 of 2007.

- Asian Tribune -

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