Business Times

TRC approached by foreign firms to develop satellite

By Duruthu Edirimuni Chandrasekera

The Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (TRC) has been approached by a US-based telecom firm to develop Sri Lanka’s communications satellite in which two Malaysian companies are also in the running, according to a TRC source.

“Intel Sat of USA (which established the first commercial global satellite communications system in 1965) through its commercial branch are interested in this project and they approached the TRC recently,” Priyantha Kariyapperuma, Director General TRC told the Business Times.

He said after the Presidential elections this month, the TRC will hold a press conference to publicise the call for Expressions of Interest (EOI) to interested parties. He said that Malaysia’s Maxis Group satellite arm, Measat and Malysia’s Axiata were also invited by the TRC (informally) to send their EOI. “They are both present here and that is the reason we invited them,” he said. Maxis owns almost 40% in the national telecom provider, Sri Lanka Telecom and Axiata subsidiary Dialog Telecom is the country’s mobile telecom market leader.

Mr. Kariyapperuma reiterated that the EOI are open for anyone to apply for. “We invited Measat and Axiata, because they are present here, but it is open for all,” he said. He said currently the virtual ground station is being set up.

“We signed the MOU to allow us move forward in this regard by setting up the Sri Lanka Space Communications Company which will own the satellite assets,” he said.

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