Etisalat HQ.

Etisalat has a new office and service center on Galle Road next to Crescat. It’s pretty glossy and nice.

Etisalat is Sri Lanka’s hardest working phone company, probably because it’s perennially in third place behind Dialog Axiata and Mobitel. They’ve rolled out innovations like a local Android App Store and BookHub, but getting regular customer service from them has long been difficult. Their head office was somewhere in Colombo North and they have far fewer retail outlets than their competitors.

Now, however, it seems that their headquarters and at least one retail outlet are centrally located. The new Etisalat HQ is smack between Crescat Mall and Temple Trees, the President’s residence. It’s quite accessible via bus lines and quite prominent also, as you pass along the Galle Road.

Inside they’ve gone for the Apple Store whiteness and it’s nice and simple enough. There are tables full of tablets and phones, ranging from iPads and iPhones (costing Rs. 165,000 for the iPhone 5, Rs. 115,000 for an iPad 3) to Samsungs (Rs. 45,000 for the Galaxy S, Rs. 100,000 for the S3, Rs. 67,000 for the Galaxy Tab 2) to Chinese whatever (smartphones for Rs. 20,000 up, tabs from 25,000). They’ve also got routers and accessories, like OtterBox waterproof, er, boxes.

In terms of devices and browsability, we’d venture that the new Etisalat HQ is the best shop out there. Dialog has a big space on Darley Road, but that’s more devoted to customer service. Zigo has a small and interesting outlet off Havelock Road, but it lacks range. As far as getting to touch, feel and buy the latest phones and tabs, the Etisalat HQ is the newest and best on the block.

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