Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Interview with Mr. Shirantha Herath MD of LBN

Recently we interviewed Mr. Shirantha Herath who is the MD of LBN by email. We have given below the questions that we asked him and his responses to them.

Admin : There are rumours saying that LBN is financially wrecked. We know that a seven month shutdown can have a very bad negative impact on a company financially. How would you explain the present situation at LBN?
Shirantha : Whilst LBN has had to contend with a massive loss due to this issue we are in no way wrecked. Financially we are in a position to continue operations and expand the network as well as continue to improve on the services we provide.

Admin : When is the expected commercial relaunch of LBN?
Shirantha : We hope to commence commercial operations shortly.

Admin : Has the transmission network of LBN being damaged badly due to the shutdown. If not why has there been an extended period of testing?
Shirantha : There was extensive damage to the network. We have rectified most of the damage and have reconnected a majority of the customers who had changed to local antennas.

Admin : Should we expect an increase in the monthly rental of LBN packages and also the initial installation cost?
Shirantha : There will be no increase in the monthly charges for existing customers for at least the next six months. We are in the process of reevaluating the pricing in view of the new content we are introducing. If there is a revision this will apply to new customers only.

Admin : Will LBN be broadcasting the ICC World Cup tournament live? Dialog TV is said to have obtained exclusive rights for this on the pay television platform.
Shirantha : Dialog has got exclusive satellite rights and we are in discussions with the broadcaster. If Dialog has paid a premium to stop other platforms and deny non dialog customers from watching the world cup we will not be able to broadcast the world cup on LBN. This is yet to be finalized.

Admin : What else can we expect from LBN in the future?
Shirantha : We have already launched two sports channels. Namely Neo Sports and Neo Sports PLUS. We are in the final stages of discussions with HBO to launch HBO Family and HBO Hits. In addition we will also be adding Discovery, Animal Planet and Discovery Travel and Living. Very shortly. However the most exciting thing in the future is the introduction of High Speed internet. The license for this has already been given by the TRC and we hope to launch this in the 2nd half of 2007. Whilst the digital signal is available at present we will formally launch the digital services shortly. There appears to be a common misconception that digital is only available on satellite.

So it looks like LBN subscribers are in for a treat with the upcoming launch of HBO Hits, HBO Family and Discovery Communication Channels. Not to mention high speed internet which seems to be the best thing that can happen to LBN subscribers. Even if LBN does not show the ICC World Cup the planned channel lineup as well as the internet plans will make up for it.

We like to thank Mr. Shirantha for taking time to answer the above questions.


Anonymous said...

Well done and congratulations,This will serve as a eye opner to the big talking Dialog TV,They could never match our content when HBO HITZ & FAMILY,DISCOVERY,DISCOVERY

With the two NEO channels in our armoury,DTV cant even catch our back.

Great work and god bless Shirantha,God bless LBN.

Anonymous said...

Dialog can think big as they are infact big. Besides they already have some of the above channels. It is true that LBN & Dialog have unique features as they operate in two different platforms. No point you have everything if you can't watch the cricket world cup.
Don't create unnecessary atmosphere here. If you challenge anybody please put your name. Where have your GOD been during the past few months?

Blade Ivan

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

As far as the WC is concerned DTV is through and there is no such Cable/sattelite provider differantly,What DTV has done is they have got the exclusive rights for pay TV in the country.

The first blogger should learn and understand that DTV will have the two NEO channels and the HBO channels in the very near future.


Anonymous said...

Maybe LBN is cheap,Affordable and would be giving Internet in the future,but the problem is that their coverage is less than 0.1% of the geographical area of the country wheres,DTV covers 100%.There is no way that LBN is going to match DTV or be anywhere near them.With the backing of Dialog,who are realy big time,LBN is just no match for them.

Anae said...

The above comment is true. And still it is not going to be easy for LBN to get new customers.

The LBN expenditure to get new customers:-
New Channels + Advertising + Internet Costs + Cable expnasion + More

My area is still uncovered. But LBN said that coverage would expand to my area years ago. Unfortunately it has not yet happened.

DTV has islandwide coverage. Rain outages are rare. There is even more chance of damaging of cables during bad weather (especially if they hang them on the ustable electricity and telecom poles!).

So, whatever Mr. Herath says, these features will benfit existing customers only. And beware, if you customers are going to be rude and dirty against DTV, there is less chance DTV will share the rights with LBN.

HBO HiTS, HBO Family, Sun TV, Sun Music, Ten Sports, Neo Sports, Neo Sports +, Star Movies, Star World, Star Gold, Star Plus and more are coming soon on DTV. With its heavy advertising and financial backing, DTV can do wonders which LBN could not fit into their budget. LBN, with only a small coverage area, is not going to gain much with DTV around. Not if many people don't know about it or are not in coverage footprint.

Anyway, good work Mr. Herath and the crew, and best of luck in the future, whatever it may have in store for you.

Sudhar said...

This is marvelous news for the LBN customers, I was so delighted to hear that Discovery, Animal Planet and Discovery Travel and Living will be added soon. The people who talk about percentage must be from marketing institutes or else those sell connection. Who bothers about whether market penetration is 0.01% or 0.001%. As far as the existing customers are concern there is no single reason that they have to switch to some other provider. There is no comparison for the initial deposit or else the monthly rental concern or else even the service.

There is no comparison for the channels broadcast by LBN with any other provider in this country. Whether its English movie channel or music channel or sports channel, along with 6 Tamil channels. How long will this cricket world cup will last, I hope every one here remembers what happened to last year Football world cup. Because of that incident how many of you given up your connection.

Sudhar said...

I want to thank Mr. Shirantha for giving some valuable information about LBN’s future plans. I hope what ever you have mention will be realized soon in the coming months.

Anonymous said...

Dialog TV will have Islandwide coverage, but that is the only advantage DTV got over LBN. LBN has limited coverage at the moment but on every other grounds LBN is better. Talk about the Quality of Channels, Talk about the Quantity of Channels, LBN is better both in Quality and Quantity. Why would any potential customer in LBN coverage area would want to have anyother product than LBN as it is superior in Quality and Quantity..?

It is very rarely you get a product which is superior in BOTH QUALITY AND QUANTITY... that IS LBN.

The more LBN expands its coverage, the more customers from Diolog TV will convert to LBN.

Furthermore, LBN is likely to be the top Internet Provider in the future with its Broadband Internet Service to be introduced in Late 2007!!!!!( according to MD)

Best of Luck Mr.Herath! You have identified the potential of technology for the future.

Its your sheer commitment and hardwork that will take you all forward.

Anonymous said...

For LBN to be the top internet provider in the country is pure bullshit,If they can come out with the reach of Telecom,Suntel and Lanka bell,Its going to be the joke of the century,They cant cover 0.1% of the country and you are talking about telecom who already has over 99%

Anonymous said...

Its very interesting to note when a company talk about the future plans others get excited about the happenings.

Network – Digital
Channels – more then 60
Rental – less then competition
Availability – limited (dialog telecom took more then 9 years to cover the entire nation)
Two different channels or any amount of channels could be watched at any given time.

Let the product compete in the market & finally all depends on how the customers were benefited. Still there are 12000 multivision customers. So are they fools. If dialog customers think they are the superiors (sorry wenna onnee). We are happy with lbn. We will stay tuned with them

Kamal Perera.

TV & Radio Sri Lanka said...


Please do not use this as a forum to insult others. We request LBN Subscribers to make good use of this forum to improve the quality of LBN even further and not to insult other networks.

Bloggers from other networks who have no interest in LBN services are requested not to post unnecessary comments here.

Please make use of this forum for something constructive.


Anonymous said...

DTV has islandwide coverage. Rain outages are rare. There is even more chance of damaging of cables during bad weather (especially if they hang them on the ustable electricity and telecom poles!).


What you express is technically correct. But entire nation & 90 % of the telephone connections & electricity comes through in above technology (through cable). No satellite electricity. How many of us have removed a fixed telecom connection & went for a CDMA. The issue is one company covers the entire nation, other company restricted to a certain areas,
In the available area LBN supposed to be the best. Don’t cry……

Admin, I find difficult get register an id.

Anonymous said...

Exactly....Whether DTV covers 0.1 or 100% is not important for the customer who lives in an area covered by LBN.

If this was their GSM network we were talking about their coverage matters as we would want to have coverage anywhere we go.

For cable TV...if the provider covers my neighbourhood then the percentage of the island they cover is of no use. To compare two broadcasters who cover my neighbourhood I have to use the parameters mentioned earlier such as number of channels, quality of the picture and cost.

If LBN doesn't cover someone's area then he has no choice but to get DTV. But if his area is covered then LBN will win hands down....

Sudhar said...

As our admin said there is no need to criticize other service providers, as a LBN bolger just put your thoughts and views to make the LBN service much better. As other providers says “expect more soon, so soon” will not work, what is on the TV is the actual output and fact.
I hope with the introduction of Discovery channel package, LBN can say “You name it we have it”

Anonymous said...

Comment by Anae of Dialog TV Blog

"I have observed that LBN bloggers talk 40% about LBN itself and 60% in comparison of DTV and LBN. That's not the way DTV bloggers are. DTV blog contains 80% DTV itself and rarely criticises the competition. LBN seems to spend all their time comparing and criticising DTV. Why can't they just harp on their own benefits without troubling others?

Dear Anae,

Umbala wagey uwun hinda thamai LBN blog eka 60% comparison walata yanney.... LBN blog ekey aluth deyak yanakota, kawuruhari pita ekek awith ungey ewa mekey daanawa...umba a gana katha karan na nadda?

LBN ekey kawuruth anungey blog wala gihin gon comments daan naha..anna ewa gana katha karapang...nikan gon comparison den nathuwa

Anonymous said...

Ehenam api LBN eke cable eke gauge eka gena katha karamu.

Anonymous said...

Onna onna aaith Anae...anayak wegena enawa

Anonymous said...

If anybody has an issue about the gauge, please contact us on 5300300

LBN Technical Team

Anonymous said...

the above post is not from LBN.

Anonymous said...

Thank you LBN MD for your comments. Hope we get a chance to watch world. All the best with the negotiations!!!

Anonymous said...

LBN Web Page


Hope we will see some good news soon

Anonymous said...

I am still experiencing bad audio quality on Z-cafe. Is anyone else experiencing this. I live in dehiwala.

Anonymous said...

Anderson Road,Audio ok,Check cable or call 5300300

Anae said...


Regarding Lanka Internet Shut Down.

Anonymous said...

I (digital) too experience a low audio quality in Zee Studio at Ratnakara Place Dehiwala.

Anonymous said...

Peters Lane - Dehiwala : Audio quality is bad on Z-cafe.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if LBN has started billing? If so from which month? I stil haven't received a bill.

Anonymous said...

No they haven't started billing yet. But they are still after 1/2 month areas in June 2006.Common LBN, forhet about that...if you want money bill us for Feb...I am sure that eveybody who gets services will pay!!!

Have you Guys seen the new LBN web page?.... Max ney :)

Anonymous said...

Is BBC back on LBN. I have an Analog Basic connection and I can't see it.

Anonymous said...

I am an LBN customer in Colombo 5. So far the service, I have received from LBN has pretty dismal. When LBN was on air again, the picture quality was pretty bad with heavy distortions etc. After two visits by the service guys, I still have no sound even with the cable box and the TV being on max levels. I was told everything will be right in a week but given the service I have received so far, I am not holding my breath.

I called LBN and asked for a leaflet on the channel packages, and was told to come to their office in Narahanepita and pick it up. I understand your website is still under construction. Even though if it does not have all the bells and whistles, at least the basic information should be up and running.

A word about the World Cup. It's a huge disppointment that this will be exclusive to Dialog.

I do like to support the small guy and if I do switch which I am considering seriously, it is because LBN has not got some of the basics right like customer service.


Chinthaka said...

I'm not even a customer yet but even getting them to sell me a connection has proven to be a nightmare!! I called Mt. Lavinia branch and gave contact details upon request and the receptionist said I’d get a call in 15 mins from a technician. No response for 2 whole days. Then I rang the head office... same response still nobody called back. If it's this hard for them to take my money and give me a subscription, I wonder how on earth is their after sales service is???