The highly competitive mobile market in Sri Lanka had been running with a healthy overall annual growth rate for some years. With mobile penetration is still relatively low compared with other more developed Asian markets, having reached 91% by mid-2012, the strong annual growth of earlier years has moderated somewhat and was continuing at a very modest 10%. The market has undoubtedly benefited from its liberalisation and the competition that came with four operators seriously battling it out for market share. This is despite one of these – Dialog Telekom – still clinging to a large slice (still around 40%) of the market. The number of mobile operators increased to five with Bharti Airtel Lanka launching a mobile service in 2009. Bharti hit the market hard, signing up one million subscribers in just six months but by 2012 had lost considerable momentum and had been losing customers. This report presents an overview of mobile phone services in Sri Lanka. The country’s TV broadcasting sector is also briefly reviewed.
- In June 2012 Dialog Axiata launched a mobile money service it called eZ Cash;
- After rapidly growing its subscriber base, new player Bharti had started losing customers;
- Etisalat Sri Lanka announced the commercial launch of an HSPA+ network;
- Dialog Axiata launched a pilot 4G LTE mobile broadband network in Colombo;
- Mobitel carried out a trial of LTE technology;
- Both Mobitel and Dialog launched commercial 4G LTE services in 2013;
- Mobitel finalised a deal to purchase rival operator Hutchison Lanka (Hutch) in February 2014;
- The deal had not proceeded, however, due to problems in obtaining regulatory approval.
Companies covered in this report include:
SLT, Mobitel, Dialog Axiata (formerly Dialog Telekom); Etisalat Sri Lanka (formerly Tigo); Hutchison Lanka; Bharti Airtel Lanka; MTN Networks.