Wednesday, 23rd April 2014

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Mobile payments for Etisalat ‘Book Hub’

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Etisalat Lanka (Pvt) Ltd (EL) has gone beyond card payments with the launch of the new e-book store, ‘Book Hub’ where the concept of ‘mobile money’ is used, says EL Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Dumindra Ratnayaka. Speaking at a press briefing held at Hotel Hilton Residence last week, the CEO said that the new store will be officially launched by March 2012.
“The ‘Book Hub’ concept is a facility that would enable a user with any mobile connection to buy e-books using their pre-paid or post-paid mobile connections,” Ratnayaka told the gathering at the conference.

Pic by Ravindra DharmathilakeIn this initiative, Etisalat has tied up with publisher M.D. Gunasena, and Mobile Solution providers Microimage, which would see Sri Lankan literary works published electronically for the very first time and made available for direct purchase through any Personal Computer, Android or Apple mobile device. The store will be available to all users free of charge and regardless of their mobile carrier.
“The e-book store will host English, Sinhala and Tamil locally published works in an electronic format. Users can shop through the portal, choose the books they want, and directly download them to their smart phone, tablet or any PC,” Ratnayake explained adding that the content will go beyond novels, potentially including any locally published material such as educational publications, magazines, children’s books, religious texts, business journals, etc.

Going forward, the parties involved also commented on the possibility of adding newspapers and school textbooks to the e-book store.
“Our intention is to take Sri Lankan books to the international market. We have spoken to all Sri Lankan publishers and have got their consent to convert books into e-books. Our content will be beyond novels, potentially including any locally published material such as educational publications, magazines, children’s books, religious text, business journals and more,” Ratnayaka said.

He added that new writers will be able to publish their work at the ‘Book Hub’ as most of the new authors find it hard to get their work published. “We hope to have as much as possible books at simple and affordable prices. Writers are to be assured that their copyrights would be protected under a Unicode designed by microimage,” he said.

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