Opening a Horizon Academy Franchise in Maniyanthoddam, Jaffna, Sri Lanka

Father S. M. Sebastian

Father S. M. Sebastian

Nanda Wanninyaka, Founder and Chairman of the Horizon Lanka Foundation

Horizon Lanka Foundation (HLF) was inaugurated in 1998 under the shade of a mango tree in my garden at Mahawilachchiya. The day I started the HLF, I did dream of starting similar academies in Jaffna, Batticaloa & Nuwara Eiya where the majority of ethnic minorities reside in Sri Lanka.

But it took me 20 years to realize two of these dreams, thanks to this gentleman named Mr. Gunasegaran Ponniah from Nanu Oya, Nuwara Eliya. He had sent me a letter sometime back in 2014 and sought my help for the public school where he was a teacher at the time.  His was a snail mail, I forgot (or ignored) to answer. It happens with most of the snail mails I (rarely) get. Besides, we were not in a position to help any others at that time, as the HLF too was struggling to survive at the time. (I now strongly believe that I should have answered his letter even with a negative message.)

Sometime in 2015,  when the students were doing a ‘clean up’ of the Horizon Academy – Mahawilachchiya, one of the girls showed me Gnasegaran’s letter (which was to go to the dustbin, but was destined for something greater), which  I was forced  to answer. Since there was a telephone number, I called Gunasegaran and he answered.  I apologized for not answering his mail and told him that I will not be able to do much without visiting his village. I casually asked him to call me on Fridays to check if I can make it to his village in Nuwara Eliya. Would you believe it?  That he called me  every Friday and reminded me about my (possible) visit for two long years,  till I actually managed to visit him on the Sri Lankan New Year day this April with one of my German volunteer’s;  19-year-old Miss Pauline Dinkel? Such was his commitment, I felt really bad for not visiting him earlier.

With Gunasegaran’s tireless efforts we started a Horizon Academy franchise in Nanu Oya last May with the arrival of two Swiss volunteers Mr. Alain Horst & Mrs. Laura Horst. The official launch will be organized soon. While speaking with Gunasegaran, I asked if he has any contacts in Jaffna who would like to join us to start a Horizon Academy there and he readily introduced Father S. M. Sebastian to me from a little hamlet called Maniyanthoddam in Jaffna. I communicated with the latter via the phone and he sounded the ideal person to have from Jaffna as he commands a lot of respect from the village and elsewhere and also he has amazing organizing skills. He was so patient and soft-spoken and always made allowances for my hasty and abrupt decisions and arrangements.

We scheduled a visit to Maniyanthoddam during a weekend with our foreign volunteers. But I could not make it as I fell ill. But the foreign volunteers from the HLF went ahead with the visit and did a marvelous job by meeting with Father Sebastian and the people there and convincing the people there the importance of stating a Horizon Academy franchise in Maniyanthoddam. Our French volunteer, brave Miss Clara Charrière, a 19-year-old charming young lady from France, instantly decided that she would volunteer in this former troubled land, which was reduced to rubble during the 30-year-old civil war. (All I see in her is the same determination shown by Sarah Jordan Beauford (Angelina Jolie) in the Hollywood movie “Beyond Borders,” a terrific movie made on volunteering in hostile lands.)  Luckily for her, Jaffna is not hostile or troubled anymore. People in Maniyanthoddam, Jaffna are very friendly and helpful. I especially like the young there, who ride their motorbikes quite fast at night and still have some time to share a smile with us.

I eventually did visit Maniyanthoddam on May 19th with Clara and Mr. Sagara Kularathna, an employee at Dialog Axiata who was an adult student of mine some years ago and mastered English at a record speed and Miss Paulin Oswald, another 19-year-old French volunteer of Horizon Lanka, who also joined us and said she would love to volunteer at Maniyanthoddam with Clara.

We did a presentation to the students and the parents about HLF and its achievements and the franchise system that we recently introduced to expand the Horizon Academies throughout the island. Clara and Pauline stayed back in Maniyanthoddam at two students’ homes and Sagara and I returned to our respective residences in Colombo and Mahawilachchiya.  On the following Sunday May 26th Sagara and I visited Maniyanthoddam once again , this time Sagara donated his Wi-Fi connection as a personal gift to the Horizon Academy in Maniyanthoddam. All of us trained the children in some dance items and the announcements for the Official Opening Ceremony of the Horizon Academy – Maniyanthoddam on Saturday 02, June, 2018.

Today I am going to Maniyanthoddam with a few teenage students and their parents and these students will perform with the students from Maniyanthoddam at the Opening Ceremony we have scheduled at 6.00 pm on Saturday 02, June. Please join us at that time and if everything goes as planned, we will livestream the two-hour Opening Ceremony and the concert through Facebook. You may subscribe to my official FB stream at https://www.facebook.com/nanda.wanninayaka.official and that of the Horizon Lanka’s at https://www.facebook.com/horizonlankafoundation/.

Paulin Oswald and Clara Charrière at the Raiway Station, Anuradhapura to board a train to Jaffna
Paulin Oswald and Clara Charrière at the Raiway Station, Anuradhapura to board a train to Jaffna
Mr. Nanda Wanninayaka doing the presentation while Father Sebastian translating it into Tamil
Mr. Nanda Wanninayaka doing the presentation while Father Sebastian translating it into Tamil
Local and foreign volunteers at the presentation
Local and foreign volunteers at the presentation
Proposed building for Horizon Academy - Maniyanthoddam
Proposed building for Horizon Academy – Maniyanthoddam
Volunteers and the staff of Horizon Academy - Maniyanthoddam
Volunteers and the staff of Horizon Academy – Maniyanthoddam
Miss Clara Charrière at her host's house
Miss Clara Charrière at her host’s house
Miss Pauline Oswald at her host 's house
Miss Pauline Oswald at her host ‘s house
Pauline with her new friend
Pauline with her new friend
Having dinner with Father Sebastian after work.
Having dinner with Father Sebastian after work.
Roads in Maniyanthoddam
Roads in Maniyanthoddam

Dialog Axiata Strengthens the 4G Coverage to Horizon Lanka

Dialog Axiata technicians fixing the new device at Thakshila Public School

Dialog Axiata technicians fixing the new device at Thakshila Public School

Dialog Axiata provided 4G coverage to Mahawilachchiya in December 2017 on our request. They further strengthened the 4G coverage to Horizon Lanka on December 30, 2017 by installing a special device – CenRF 2G dual band repeater with FDD – : GSM Dual Band Pico Repeater -15dBm (without remote monitoring) – to help livestream the Horizon Lanka’s annual concert, “A Rainbow of Cultures” – Horizon Lanka Mega Concert – 2017. The concert was held at Thakshila Public School. After the concert was over, Dialog Axiata fixed the special device inside Horizon Lanka’s computer lab. Now we have very fast and reliable internet connection inside the computer lab through this device.

Horizon Lanka thanks Dialog Axiata for all the assistance it has been extending us since 2002. Dialog Axiata PLC has assisted Horizon Lanka Foundation over the years whenever we requested their assistance. Read more about how they assisted us in the past at http://www.horizonlanka.org/en/?s=Dialog+telekom&submit=Search

Dialog technicians setting up the special device.
Dialog technicians setting up the special device.
Special device
Special device
Special device
Special device

When It Rains, It Pours – Dialog Axiata Provides 4G Mobile Coverage to Mahawilachchiya

Dialog Axiata technicians checking Dialog 4G signals inside the Horizon Academy - Mahawilachchiya

Dialog Axiata technicians checking Dialog 4G signals inside the Horizon Academy - Mahawilachchiya

When it rains, they say, it pours. That is what happened to Mahawilachchiya because of Horizon Lanka Foundation. Mahawilachchiya is (was) a backward village situated bordering the sprawling Wilpattu National Park. If the name of the village was mentioned anywhere else other than in Mahawilachchiya, it was because of it being constantly targeted by the Tamil Tigers terrorists from 1985 to 2009 till the permanent peace was achieved by defeating the entire terrorist outfit thanks to the political leadership of the former president Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa. During the wartime, a numerous terrorist attacks were inflicted and the police, army and the civil security guards were injured, maimed or paid the ultimate price for the nation as a reason. A number of terrorists also were killed by the security forces. A considerable number of villagers also were either killed in cold blood and some were kidnapped and only a few could return by deceiving the terrorists. A several parents of our students also were either killed or kidnapped.

People of Mahawilachchiya was not connected to the outside world through a communication network and only the Police Station and the Post Office had limited telephone access using radio link technology. One had to wait a several hours to talk to someone at a very high price from the village post office.

When I started Horizon Lanka under a huge mango tree in my ancestral garden in 1998, there was no telephone coverage. I had to go to Colombo by spending almost a whole day to Colombo to just check emails and update our website. The distance from Mahawilachchiya to Colombo is 240 km but the bus ride on dilapidated road network in the country those days wore me out wasting the whole day on the road.

I had the luck of meeting Mr. Supun Weerasinghe from Dialog Axiata in 2002. He was then a young executive and now the CEO of Dialog Axiata, Sri Lanka’s leading telecommunication provider.  Dialog sent a team of engineers and fixed a special unit to provide mobile coverage within a 50-meter radius around Horizon Lanka’s small computer lab. That was the only place people could use their Dialog mobile phones. Then Dialog provided 2G mobile coverage to Mahawilachchiya in November, 2006. Then came the 3G. The latest addition to the line up was comprehensive 4G coverage to Mahawilachchiya from Dialog Axiata. The specialty of this is that Mahawilachchiya hamlet got all these technologies long before even bigger towns in Sri Lanka got them. The main reason to get all these new technologies to Mahawilachchiya is the existence of the Horizon Lanka Foundation and my strong links with Dr. Hans Wijayasuriya – the regional CEO for the South Asian Region of the Axiata Group Bhd., Asia’s second largest telecommunications company and Mr. Supun Weerasinghe, the young CEO of Dialog Axiata. Dialog has been a very big pillar of our success since 2002 and I hope the relationship would be even stronger in time to come as we are an organization which depends on new technology since the inception of the small English class under a tree in 1998. Dialog Axiata PLC has assisted Horizon Lanka Foundation over the years whenever we requested their assistance. Read more about it at http://www.horizonlanka.org/en/?s=Dialog+telekom&submit=Search

I thank Mr. Nuwan Samaranayake, a Sri Lankan American living in Houston, Texas, the United States for assisting me in this quest of wider mobile coverage and stronger data speed with Dialog. I also thank the whole Dialog Axiata team for being such a friendly and effective company. Extending 4G coverage to Mahawilachchiya was not in the immediate pipelines of the company priority list but the need to livestream Horizon Lanka’s annual concert, “A Rainbow of Cultures – Horizon Lanka Mega Concert – 2017” on December 31, 2017 and the planned launch of Horizon Academy website on January 01, 2018 and most importantly, the scheduled launch of Horizon Virtual Academy project that would allow anyone from anywhere in the world access both the recorded and the live ICT and language lessons from its website free of charge (only for the year 2018 – the users will have to pay an affordable subscription fee from January 2019.)

What will be in store for Mahawilachchiya next from Dialog? Maybe 5G … … … ?

Nanda Wanninayaka – Chairman & the CEO of Horizon Lanka Foundation

Dialog Axiata technicians checking Dialog 4G signals inside the Horizon Academy - Mahawilachchiya
Dialog Axiata technicians checking Dialog 4G signals inside the Horizon Academy – Mahawilachchiya

Improving 3G Mobile Coverage at Horizon Academy – Mahawilachchiya by Dialog Axiata – Update 4

Horizon Academy students using internet through Dialog 3G coverage

Horizon Academy students using internet through Dialog 3G coverage

At Horizon Lanka, we use Dialog Axiata PLC‘s telecommunication solutions for voice, data and satellite TV. There was an issue with Dialog 3G coverage in Mahawilachchiya during last few weeks – maybe due to high demand for the data service – since many youths and teenagers use internet a lot now. Mr. Nuwan Samaranayake from Houston, Texas, the United States raised the issue with Mr. Supun Weerasinghe, the CEO of Dialog Axiata and the latter promptly took actions to solve the problem. They sent three technical teams to provide different solutions and the latest came last Saturday (November 11, 2017) as Dialog Axiata installed a CenRF WCDMA Pico Repeater and a enRF TriBand Yagi Antenna to strengthen the 3G coverage within the Horizon Academy building. Now we get strong 3G internet coverage inside the computer lab. It still fluctuates with going back to 2G once in a while but mostly there is good coverage within the building. We thank Dialog Axiata for installing this high-tech equipment to provide us better coverage.

Though we have stronger 3G signals within the computer lab, the rest of Mahawilachchiya still have the problem of fluctuating 3G signals between 3G and 2G. So, there are rumors that the Dialog’s high-tension tower erected at Kirial Petiyawa, Mahawilachchiya would be shifted to the center of Mahawilachchiya village so that everyone could use stronger 3G coverage. Kiral Petiyawa is situated at the edge of Mahawilachchiya and there are less people in that area as it is mostly a farming region.

Dialog Axiata PLC provided 3G coverage to the whole Mahawilachchiya village in 2009 on the request of Mr. Nanda Wanninayaka, the Founder of Horizon Lanka Foundation long before some bigger towns in Anuradhapura were provided the facility. Of late, some of the other mobile operators like Hutch and Mobitel also extended their 2G coverages into 3G but only small pockets of the village are covered with 3G access by them while Dialog Axiata uses two communication towers in Mahawilachchiya to provide a wider 3G coverage.

Dialog Axiata PLC has assisted Horizon Lanka Foundation over the years whenever we requested their assistance. Read more at http://www.horizonlanka.org/en/?s=Dialog+telekom&submit=Search

 

Dialog team installing CenRF TriBand Yagi Antenna at Horizon Academy - Mahawilachchiya
Dialog team installing CenRF TriBand Yagi Antenna at Horizon Academy – Mahawilachchiya
Dialog Axiata installing a CenRF WCDMA Pico Repeater at Horizon Academy - Mahawilachchiya.
Dialog Axiata installing a CenRF WCDMA Pico Repeater at Horizon Academy – Mahawilachchiya.

A Dedicated Internet Connection to Horizon Lanka Foundation from Dialog Axiata – Update 2

A Dedicated Internet Connection to Horizon Lanka Foundation from Dialog Axiata – Update 2

Dialog Axiata staff with the students of Horizon Academy, Mahawilachchiya

Since July, 2014, with the resumption of our academic activities after a lapse of 3 and half years, the Horizon Lanka Foundation is using Dialog 3G broadband internet facilities using an internet dongle to connect to the Internet. Only Dialog Axiata PLC provides decent 3G coverage to the whole Mahawilachchiya village while the other operators are covering only small pockets of the village with 3G access.

With the number of Dialog customers being increased for both voice and data, the connectivity became slow of late and it was difficult to enjoy an uninterrupted 3G coverage as the 3G facility started to switch between 3G (HSPA) and 2G (EDGE) coverage quite often and the communication was affected. It even deteriorated with the arrival of the monsoon rainy season.

So, Mr. Nuwan Samaranayake, a gentleman who works in Houston, Texas, USA was keen to have a stronger 3G coverage in Mahawilachchiya as he is using internet to teach a student called Aruni Apsara of Grade 9. He uses both Skype and Facebook facetime to teach her and the results are amazing. The lucky girl has bettered her marks at each term tests in English, science and mathematics due to untiring efforts of Mr. Samaranayake. He was worried when the communication started affecting due to low signals. He asked me how to solve this problem because he is planning to encourage Houston-based Sri Lankan American community to teach more students in the village using Internet. I told him the best thing would be to raise the issue with Dialog Axiata’s young CEO Mr. Supun Weerasinghe. The former did so and Mr. Weerasinghe immediately sent a technical team to see what technology can be used to provide an uninterrupted data line to Horizon Lanka and the rest of the village.

A team of technicians from Dialog Axiata visited Mahawilachchiya on October 13, 2017 and they decided to erect an additional tower at the Horizon Lanka Foundation premises as a solution. Since they did not have the equipment in their stores at that time, they left the village with the promise of returning with the equipment as soon as they were available.

The Dialog Axiata technical team returned to Horizon Lanka Foundation, Mahawilachchiya on October 18, 2017 with the necessary equipment and the technicians. They erected a tower at Horizon Lanka and tested the signal strength. We were lucky to hear from the team leader that the signal strength is very satisfying and they can connect Horizon Lanka to a very decent internet backbone with Dialog Axiata. The team told us that they would report the results to the company and the company would get back to us with the necessary paperwork and the agreements in two weeks. As soon as those formalities are done, the children at Horizon Academy, Mahawilachchiya will have unlimited faster access to the Internet like they used to have during the period April 2004 to February 2011. This would make a big difference in the academic achievements of the children in Mahawilachchiya in the coming months.

We at Horizon Lanka Foundation thank Mr. Nuwan Samaranayake for raising the issue with Dialog Axiata and Mr. Supun Weerasinghe for the prompt action. Let us hope that a dedicated and faster internet connection would be made available for both Horizon Lanka Foundation and the rest of the village soon.

Dialog Axiata PLC has assisted Horizon Lanka Foundation over the years whenever we requested their assistance. Read more at http://www.horizonlanka.org/en/?s=Dialog+telekom&submit=Search

A Dedicated Internet Connection to Horizon Lanka Foundation from Dialog Axiata – Update 1

Diaog Axiatta PLC team at Horizon Lanka

Diaog Axiata PLC team at Horizon LankaSince July, 2014, with the resumption of our academic activities after a lapse of 3 and half years, the Horizon Lanka Foundation is using Dialog 3G broadband internet facilities using an internet dongle to connect to the Internet. Only Dialog Axiata PLC provides decent 3G coverage to the whole Mahawilachchiya village while the other operators are covering only small pockets of the village with 3G access.

With the number of Dialog customers being increased for both voice and data, the connectivity became slow of late and it was difficult to enjoy an uninterrupted 3G coverage as the 3G facility started to switch between 3G (HSPA) and 2G (EDGE) coverage quite often and the communication was affected. It even deteriorated with the arrival of the monsoon rainy season.

So, Mr. Nuwan Samaranayake, a gentleman who works in Houston, Texas, USA was keen to have a stronger 3G coverage in Mahawilachchiya as he is using internet to teach a student called Aruni Apsara of Grade 9. He uses both Skype and Facebook facetime to teach her and the results are amazing. The lucky girl has bettered her marks at each term tests in English, science and mathematics due to untiring efforts of Mr. Samaranayake. He was worried when the communication started affecting due to low signals. He asked me how to solve this problem because he is planning to encourage Houston-based Sri Lankan American community to teach more students in the village using Internet. I told him the best thing would be to raise the issue with Dialog Axiata’s young CEO Mr. Supun Weerasinghe. The former did so and Mr. Weerasinghe immediately sent a technical team to see what technology can be used to provide an uninterrupted data line to Horizon Lanka and the rest of the village.

A team of technicians from Dialog Axiata visited Mahawilachchiya on October 13, 2017 and they decided to erect an additional tower at the Horizon Lanka Foundation premises as a solution. Since they did not have the equipment in their stores at that time, they left the village with the promise of returning with the equipment as soon as they were available.

We at Horizon Lanka Foundation thank Mr. Nuwan Samaranayake for raising the issue with Dialog Axiata and Mr. Supun Weerasinghe for the prompt action. Let us hope that a dedicated and faster internet connection would be made available for both Horizon Lanka Foundation and the rest of the village soon.

Dialog Axiata PLC has assisted Horizon Lanka Foundation over the years whenever we requested their assistance. Read more at http://www.horizonlanka.org/en/?s=Dialog+telekom&submit=Search

Diaog Axiatta PLC team at Horizon Lanka
Diaog Axiata PLC team at Horizon Lanka
Diaog Axiatta PLC team at Horizon Lanka
Diaog Axiata PLC team at Horizon Lanka
Diaog Axiatta PLC team at Horizon Lanka
Diaog Axiata PLC team at Horizon Lanka
Diaog Axiatta PLC team at Horizon Lanka
Diaog Axiata PLC team at Horizon Lanka
Diaog Axiatta PLC team at Horizon Lanka
Diaog Axiata PLC team at Horizon Lanka
Diaog Axiata PLC team at Aruni Apsara's house
Diaog Axiata PLC team at Aruni Apsara’s house
Diaog Axiata PLC team at Aruni Apsara's house
Diaog Axiata PLC team at Aruni Apsara’s house
Diaog Axiata PLC team at Aruni Apsara's house
Diaog Axiata PLC team at Aruni Apsara’s house
Diaog Axiata PLC team at Aruni Apsara's house
Diaog Axiata PLC team at Aruni Apsara’s house

Horizon Lanka Gets a New CDMA Phone Connection

kids with a CDMA phone

kids with a CDMA phoneAfter reading this story in our website, a gentleman in Australia sent the necessary money to Horizon Lanka to buy a CDMA phone. He prefers to remain anonymous. We thank him for the generous donation.

Now that we have a phone, we can pass the messages to our friends and families while we are at Horizon Lanka. We also learn phone communication ethics from our staff. We bought a Dialog CDMA phone connection as they have the best coverage and the cheapest rates. Besides, Dialog Axiata has helped us several times in the past.

Tharani Madhara Rathnayaka Grade 8 tharani@horizonlanka.org

Tharani calling home from Horizon Lanka
Tharani calling home from Horizon Lanka

Please Help Us to Reconnect Dialog TV Satellite TV Connection at Horizon Lanka Foundation

Please Help Us to Reconnect Dialog TV Satellite TV Connection at Horizon Lanka Foundation

Dialog TV Logo

Horizon Lanka Foundation had purchased a Dialog TV satellite TV connection in 2005. But this had to be disconnected in November, 2010 due to financial constraints. We have an arrears of 4266.07 LKR and have to pay a re-connection fee of 1000 LKR for Dialog TV. The total amount to be paid is 5266.07 LKR (36.05 USD.) It would be great if you can donate this amount to Horizon Lanka Foundation.

The Satellite TV connection was productively used at Horizon Lanka in the past. The junior students could watch cartoons and other educational programs under the supervision of our staff who explained the content and assigned tasks for the children and monitored their responses to the assigned tasks. Middle school children could watch news, subtitled English movies, educational and edutainment programs, sports channels, etc. with the supervision of the staff. Youth and adults specially used the satellite TV for local TV channels, sports, entertainment and religious channels.

To see more details about the Dialog TV connection, visit http://www.dialog.lk/dlg/browse/productDetails.jsp?navAction=jump&navCount=0&categoryId=onlinecat3440069&productId=onlineprod4550056. You can see the number of channels we can and the names of the channels. This package “Pearl” offers 71 channels including news, sports, educational, edutainment, music, entertainment, kids and movies, etc. We can use these channels for educational purposes. This will also help our foreign volunteers who work hard for the success of Horizon Lanka Foundation to break their monotony as well.

We prefer to use a Dialog TV connection because they offer a good service with a cheaper price. Besides, Dialog Axiata have helped us several times by,

  1. Installing an antenna on the roof of Horizon Lanka to provide mobile access to 50-meter radius around Horizon Lanka computer lab in 2001 at a time even bigger towns had not got the Dialog mobile access.
  2. Providing 2G mobile access to Right Bank of Mahawilachchiya through LankaBell tower in Pemaduwa Mahawilachchiya on Mr. Nanda Wanninayaka’s (Founder of Horizon Lanka Foundation) request since the night of December 18, 2006.
  3. Expanding 2G coverage by installing equipment in the Dialog high-tension tower in Kiralpetiyawa, Mahawilachchiya enabling Left Bank of the village with 2G access for even in chena (slash and burn cultivation) farms in the jungles in 2008.
  4. Upgrading the coverage to 3G on Mr. Wanninayaka’s request from the LankaBell tower in Pemaduwa Mahawilachchiya.
  5. Expanding the coverage to 3G on Mr. Wanninayaka’s request from the Dialog high-tension tower in Kiralpetiyawa, Mahawilachchiya in 2009.
  6. Planning to provide 4G Home Broadband facility to Mahawilachchiya at a concessionary price.

So, we are comfortable with Dialog Axiata as our communication service provider. We have all our staff members mobile phone connections and our office fixed line CDMA phone from Dialog. Our relationships with Dialog is very strong and they have never disappointed us.

Monthly Rental for “Pearl Package” 699.00 LKR (4.78 USD.) and taxes. We will pay the monthly bill.

main4-packages

tv-connection-details

Please Help Us Get a Dialog CDMA Land Line Telephone

Dialog Axiata Logo

Dialog LogoMr. Nanda Wanninayaka, the Founder of Horizon Lanka Foundation has been using his personal Dialog mobile phone for all Horizon Lanka related communication since 2001. This becomes a big problem as he has to answer the phone even for the least important matters. So, it would be great if we can install a Dialog CDMA land phone for the common official usage. It would ease newly recruited young girl Anupama Sandamali’s job as the administrator/ICT teacher of Horizon Lanka and it would enable her and other students to learn telephone etiquette as well.

A Dialog CDMA land phone is ideal for this requirement. We prefer to use a Dialog land phone because they have the best coverage and the cheapest prices. Besides they have helped us several times by,

  1. Installing an antenna on the roof of Horizon Lanka to provide mobile access to 50-meter radius around Horizon Lanka computer lab in 2001 at a time even bigger towns had not got the Dialog mobile access.
  2. Providing 2G mobile access to Right Bank of Mahawilachchiya through LankaBell tower in Pemaduwa Mahawilachchiya on Mr. Wanninayaka’s request since the night of December 18, 2006.
  3. Expanding 2G coverage by installing equipment in the Dialog high-tension tower in Kiralpetiyawa, Mahawilachchiya enabling Left Bank of the village with 2G access for even in chena (slash and burn cultivation) farms in the jungles in 2008.
  4. Upgrading the coverage to 3G on Mr. Wanninayaka’s request from the LankaBell tower in Pemaduwa Mahawilachchiya.
  5. Expanding the coverage to 3G on Mr. Wanninayaka’s request from the Dialog high-tension tower in Kiralpetiyawa, Mahawilachchiya in 2009.
  6. Planning to provide 4G Home Broadband facility to Mahawilachchiya at a concessionary price.

So, we are comfortable with Dialog Axiata as our communication service provider. We also hope to get Dialog satellite TV facilities in the near future.

To buy a Dialog CDMA land phone we need 2900 LKR (13.69 USD.) This is a post paid per minute package. And the prices are cheaper.

Monthly Rental 300.00 LKR (2.05 USD)

To Dialog Fixed Line 1.50 LKR (0.010 USD)

Any Other Local Network 2.00 LKR (0.013 USD)

Free to Any Network per month 250.00 LKR (1.71USD)

Highlights

Package available for 2,990.00 LKR (inclusive with Tax)

P.S. After reading this article, a gentleman in Australia donated the money to buy the CDMA Phone.

dialog CDMA phone unit
dialog CDMA phone unit

Feasibility Study to Provide an Internet Connection to Horizon Lanka from LankaCom Services

Asanka Gtamanna, A telecommunication engineer from LankaCom.
Asanka Gtamanna, A telecommunication engineer from LankaCom.

An engineer from LankaCom, led by Mr. Asanka Gatamanna​ and some technicians from their subcontractor, Sanit Technologies in Anuradhapura visited Horizon Lanka computer lab and the Dialog Axiata communication tower on October 17, 2015. They wanted to see if LankaCom can provide a leased internet line using the Dialog tower to provide unlimited access to the internet for Horizon Lanka. Dialog has been very helpful to us in the past. And these are the facilities they offered us so far.

(1)  First, the Dialog provided Horizon Lanka Foundation a low cost phone packages for 5 staff members and 10 parents.

(2)  Then Dialog provided mobile phone access to Horizon Lanka around a 50 meter radius of Horizon Lanka building at a time none of the other places in Mahawilachchiya had mobile phone coverage. So, not only we, mobile users from the whole village came to make calls using the coverage at Horizon Lanka.

(3)  Dialog donated 6 brand new PCs and 6 computer tables for the students to use in December, 2006. The company also donated 120,000 LKR as the allowance for one of our instructors for the year 2007. The cost of the total donation was 500,000 LKR (4637.35 USD during that time.)

(4)  Dialog provided first mobile coverage to Mahawilachchiya using the Lanka Bell communication tower, on Horizon Lanka Founder, Mr. Nanda Wanninayaka’s request to Dr. Hans Wijayasuriya, the CEO of Dialog Axiata.

(5)  Dialog expanded the coverage to the Left Bank of Mahawilachchiya on February 27, 2009 using Dialog’s own high tension tower in Kiralpetiyawa, Mahawilachchiya on Horizon Lanka Founder, Mr. Nanda Wanninayaka’s request to Dr. Hans Wijayasuriya, the CEO of Dialog Axiata.

(6)  Dialog Axiata permitted to use its Kiralpetiyawa, Mahawilachchiya base tower for LankaCom to install Horizon Lanka’s mesh internet equipment in the Dialog tower without charging a penny. It helped us expand our mesh internet network to Kiralpetiyawa, a forgotten and backward area of Mahawilachchiya when it comes to infrastructure facilities.

(7)  Dialog Axiata provided first and only 3G coverage by using the Lanka Bell tower in Pemaduwa, Mahawilachchiya in June, 2011 on Horizon Lanka’s Founder, Mr. Nanda Wanninayaka’s request to Dr. Hans Wijayasuriya, the CEO of Dialog Axiata. But this was not sufficient as Horizon Lanka Foundation is situated in the Left Bank of the village.

(8)  Dialog Axiata expanded its 3G coverage to the Left Bank of Mahawilachchiya in September 2011 on Horizon Lanka Founder, Mr. Nanda Wanninayaka’s request to Dr. Hans Wijayasuriya, the CEO of Dialog Axiata.

(9)  Dialog permitted LankaCom, one of the rival companies of Dialog when it comes to Internet facilities to use its Kiralpetiyawa tower without charging a penny for Horizon Lanka to get internet access through LankaCom. Unfortunately the signal strength to the computer lab was too weak as the heavily grown tree canopy blocked signals. But still there is hope that if install a 120 feet tower at Horizon Lanka, LanCom will be able to direct the antenna to Dialog tower and get the signals.  Anyway Thank you Dialog for all what you did over the years for us and we will do the maximum justice to your helping hand by producing more English and ICT savvy youth from Horizon Lanka Foundation as we did in the past.

It was LankaCom that provided internet to Horizon Lanka from April, 2004 till February, 2011 (almost 7 years) with maximum breakdowns less than of 10 times during the whole period. They charged us a nominal fee for the internet connection till Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA) sponsored our monthly internet bill from 2005 onward. We are incompletely satisfied with LankaCom’s Internet connection and its maintenance services. So, thought of getting their services again.

After hours of checking signals to the computer lab from the Dialog base tower in Kiralpetiyawa we did not get a positive result from Asanka Gatamanna, the engineer from LankaCom. According to him, we cannot directly get internet signals from the Dialog tower in Kiralpetiyawa, Mahawilachchiya due to heavily grown tree canopy around Horizon Lanka computer lab. So, we need to install our own tower at Horizon Lanka (like in 2004) and aim it to either Dialog tower in Kiralpetiyawa or to LankaCom’s base station tower in Anuradhapura. We will have to install a 120-feet tower and it will cost us in the range of 600,000 LKR to 700,000 LKR (4270.00 USD to 4981.67 USD.) We will publish another article once we get the full budget from them.

Setting up the disc antenna.
Setting up the disc antenna.
Erecting a temporary tower at Horizon Lanka to test the signal reception.
Erecting a temporary tower at Horizon Lanka to test the signal reception.
Asanka checking signals
Asanka checking signals
Checking signals inside the lab.
Checking signals inside the lab.
Not good, not good.
Not good, not good.
Finally, some refreshment from Jeewani to already tired team
Finally, some refreshment from Jeewani to already tired team