Posted by: lrrp | November 29, 2007

Sinhala, Tamil News Alerts a first in Sri Lanka

The mobile industry in Sri Lanka will for the first time witness the introduction of Sinhala and Tamil News Alerts via SMS estimated to target 1.8 million subscribers.
“This is yet another pioneering initiative that came about with the collaborative effort between Lankapuvath and Sri Lanka Telecom Mobitel”, Sri Lanka Telecom Mobitel Chairman P. Asoka Weerasinghe De Silva stated. “The combination of the technology we provide and their reliability in the gathering and dissemination of news goes a long way in ensuring the success of this service,” he said.
Mr. Weerasinghe further added that they first started with the English SMS and Sri Lanka being a place where people communicate in Sinhala and Tamil this has been provided especially for the people in the rural sectors. “After restructuring Lankapuvath which is the National News Agency of Sri Lanka our prime objective was to upgrade it to the international standard,” Lankapuvath Chairman and Managing Director Pradeep Gunawardana stated.
We saw at the same time a gap in the society especially among the rural areas that they were not receiving latest news and information in a language they can understand and therefore our effort in bringing the news and information to rural masses in Sinhala and Tamil is a significant victory by Mobitel and Lankapuvath. They have also planned on offering an opportunity of watching the latest happening as visuals using their GPRS technology enabled mobile phones. We started this for local market and soon we have planned on taking this abroad as well for the migrant workers especially.
To register for the service Mobitel customers have to follow two simple steps which are they can download the latest version of the Thibus ME Sinhala and Tamil SMS application from the Mobitel Wap site and type “puwath” in Sinhala for alerts in Sinhala or “seythikal” in Tamil for alerts in Tamil and to send it to 2233 for no additional fee except for the normal GPRS charges applicable. There are several features that come with the Thibus ME application. The service is provided by the technology of Science Land Corporation which had already partnered with Mobitel in launching two other language related services names the Sinhala and Tamil SMS and the Translator.
“Seventy to eighty percent of the subscribers do not communicate in English and a good percentage of the people will be able to benefit through this new venture”, Sri Lanka Telecom Mobitel CEO Suren Amarasekera said. Our endeavour is to promote news at the timely manner. He also added the fact that the pre dominant earner for Value Added service is through the SMS service and other than roaming we have revenue of 10%.
Investments committed by Mobitel in its 3G and GSM service offers a total of over US$200 million and is said to increase its present 1500 base stations by the end of this year.

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