May, 2005 – Dialog GSM Sri Lanka’s premier mobile telecommunication provider launched the first ever Sinhala and Tamil mobile portals on its GSM Network. The Dialog GSM mobile portals, which will be available to all subscribers soon. Currently launching a BETA format, the company will use the next three weeks as a testing period in order to ensure the portals are compatible with all Java-enabled GPRS handsets.
When the portals are commercially released, they will provide fully-fledged access to a host of information such as foreign exchange rates, stock prices, agri-market information, news and weather as well as a wide range of infotainment services, downloads and advanced mobile internet services in Sinhala and Tamil.
Speaking at the occasion, Dialog GSM CEO Dr Hans Wijayasuriya said that Dialog has been consistently committed to breaking down the barriers to Information arid Communications Technology affordability, access and availability. “All citizens of Sri Lanka are now empowered to exploit technologies such as GPBS and SMS to the fullest in their own language” said Dr. Wijayasuriya.
He was in all full praise to Microimage, the developers of Sinhala and Tamil Mobile Portal Software for their invaluable role in local language provisioning on ICT infrastructure. “I don’t like to value the product in dollar terms or other, but Microimage has invested their time and resources to serve the Sri Lankans with a localized product” stated Dr. Wijayasuriya adding further that both Dialog and Microimage could have opted to invest in something more commercial hut have decided in the interest of the rural sector development of the country.
Director General of Telecommunication Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka Aruna Amarasekera said that this is a very important step in terms of rural telephony development. “We are constantly trying to bring telecommunication to the masses and this product will go a long way to help us do that, people all over the island will now have access to information in their mother tongue – this is an exceptional development,” added Amarasekera.
The Secretary to the Prime Minister, Lalith Weeratunga stressed the importance of Information and Communication Technology as the roadmap of national development. “ICT 15 all essential component in development and we are working towards bridging the ICT gap between urbanized and rural areas. He added that the product would help them bridge the gap.
The CEO of Microimage Harsha Rupasinghe, the developer of the localized software for application on Dialog GSM said that all Java-enabled mobile phones were supported with a browser on GPRS. “This provides an all new frontier for multi-lingual access to the mobile Internet” said Rupasinghe elaborating that the revolutionary breakthrough in local language facilitation, the Sinhala and Tamil mobile portals will accelerate and broad-base the delivery of ICT benefits to rural communities in Sri Lanka.
Microimage has built up an impressive record of accomplishments since its formation nine years ago. They have won gold and silver at the BCS National Best Quality Software Awards 2004, Merit Award for Human Capital Software Product and a Special Gold Award for software localization.