Mannar Dialog telecom users under SL Military surveillance

[TamilNet, Thursday, 25 May 2006, 11:39 GMT]
A Special Telecommunication technical team from Sri Lanka Security forces Thursday morning was seen upgrading Base Transceiver Station (BTS) equipment belonging to Dialog Telecom located under the telecom-tower in Mannar, sources from Mannar said. The work was carried under heavy security and was believed to facilitate closer monitoring of a section of cellular users.

Directional antennas on the telecom tower separately service three sectors of Dialog cellular users: Mannar Town area, other Sri Lanka Army (SLA) controlled areas, and LTTE controlled areas.

The technicians can separately and independently subject the different user sectors to either terminate services or reduce the signal power to make wireless connections unreliable.

Monitoring of telephone calls is generally done under more controlled environment inside the office buildings away from the antenna towers where multiple Base Tranceiver Stations (BTSs) at the tower site(s) are connected to a common Base Station Controller (BSC) in the central buildings through E1 (or T1 in USA) lines. It is believed then that work on BTSs at the tower site is likely help setup facilities to tamper with the signal strengths of different sectors in Mannar, or to connect selected BTS(s) to a separate BSC for more targetted surveillance operations on selected user group, technical analysts contacted by TamilNet said.

Dialog Telekom operates Dialog GSM, the country's largest mobile phone network, and is a Subsidiary of the Telekom Malaysia Group and operated by Maharaja Organization. The company is also a key player in the Internet Service Provision Market with its state of the art ISP, Dialog Internet, and also operates Dialog SAT, the country's Mobile Satellite Service Provider.

The other cellular provider in Sri Lanka, the Mobitel, works in partnership with Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT).


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