India's Bharti to launch Sri Lanka services by Dec

NEW DELHI, Sept 11 (Reuters) - Bharti Airtel Ltd BRTI.BO, India's top mobile operator, expects to launch telecoms services in Sri Lanka by end of the calendar year, its chief executive said on Thursday.

“We are discussing with the government, the regulator as well as the operator. The discussions are progressing,” Manoj Kohli told reporters when asked if Bharti had been able to resolve issues with the existing Sri Lankan operator.

Bharti, with 72 million wireless subscribers on its networks at end-July, competes with No 2 Reliance Communications RLCM.BO, Vodafone Plc- VOD.L controlled Vodafone Essar and state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd.

India, with nearly 300 million mobile phone users, is the world’s second largest market for such services, and the over 8 million users added each month makes it the fastest growing market as well. (Reporting by Devidutta Tripathy, Editing by Mark Williams)