Sri Lanka - Mobile Communications, Broadcasting and Forecasts

Synopsis

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.

Key developments:

  • 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.

Table of Contents

  • 1. Synopsis
  • 2. Mobile Communications
    • 2.1 Overview of Sri Lanka’s mobile market
    • 2.2 Mobile statistics
    • 2.3 Forecasts – mobile services – 2015; 2020
      • 2.3.1 Notes on forecasting
    • 2.4 Third Generation (3G) mobile
      • 2.4.1 Background
      • 2.4.2 Licences and service launch
      • 2.4.3 Development of 3G
    • 2.5 Fourth Generation (4G) / Long Term Evolution (LTE)
    • 2.6 M-banking
  • 3. Major mobile operators
    • 3.1 Dialog Axiata (formerly Dialog Telekom)
      • 3.1.1 Company overview
      • 3.1.2 Company statistics
      • 3.1.3 Financials – 2009 - 2012
      • 3.1.4 Products and services
      • 3.1.5 Development of 3G
      • 3.1.6 Launch and development of 4G / LTE
    • 3.2 Mobitel
      • 3.2.1 Company overview
      • 3.2.2 Takeover of Hutchison Lanka
      • 3.2.3 Financials – 2009 – 2011
      • 3.2.4 Products and services
      • 3.2.5 Development of 3G
      • 3.2.6 Launch and development of 4G
    • 3.3 Etisalat Sri Lanka
      • 3.3.1 Background
      • 3.3.2 Acquisition by Etisalat
      • 3.3.3 Development
    • 3.4 Hutchison Lanka
      • 3.4.1 Background
      • 3.4.2 Development
      • 3.4.3 Takeover by Mobitel
    • 3.5 Bharti Airtel Lanka
      • 3.5.1 Background
      • 3.5.2 Development
    • 3.6 Satellite mobile
      • 3.6.1 MTN Networks
      • 3.6.2 Mobitel
      • 3.6.3 Dialog Telekom
  • 4. Broadcasting
    • 4.1 Market overview
    • 4.2 Regulatory environment
    • 4.3 Internet Protocol TV (IPTV)
    • 4.4 Cable and pay TV
      • 4.4.1 Comet Cable
      • 4.4.2 Dialog TV (DTV)
      • 4.4.3 TV & Radio Network (Pvt) Ltd
    • 4.5 Free-to-Air (FTA) TV
  • 5. Related reports
  • Table 1 – Mobile subscribers, annual change and penetration – 1995 - 2014
  • Table 2 – Mobile operator market share based on subscribers – 2013
  • Table 3 – Mobile operators, subscribers and annual change – 2013
  • Table 4 – Mobile broadband subscribers – 2009 - 2014
  • Table 5 – Forecast mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 2015; 2020
  • Table 6 – 3G mobile operators and subscribers – 2009; 2013
  • Table 7 – Dialog Axiata subscribers and market share – 2004 - 2014
  • Table 8 – Dialog Axiata prepaid subscribers – 2004 - 2014
  • Table 9 – Dialog Axiata ARPU – postpaid, prepaid and blended – 2007 - 2014
  • Table 10 – Dialog Axiata: 3G mobile subscribers – 2012 - 2013
  • Table 11 – Mobitel subscribers and market share – 2004 - 2013
  • Table 12 – Mobitel: 3G mobile subscribers – 2012 - 2013
  • Table 13 – Etisalat Sri Lanka subscribers - 2004 - 2013
  • Table 14 – Etisalat: 3G mobile subscribers – 2012 - 2013
  • Table 15 – Hutchison Lanka subscribers and market share – 2006 - 2013
  • Table 16 – Hutchison: 3G mobile subscribers – 2012 - 2013
  • Table 17 – Bharti Airtel Lanka subscribers and market share – 2009 - 2013
  • Table 18 – Bharti Airtel: 3G mobile subscribers – 2012 - 2013
  • Table 19 – Key broadcasting statistics – 2013
  • Table 20 – SLT’s PeoTV subscribers – 2009 - 2013
  • Table 21 – DTV’s DTH subscribers – 2008 - 2013
  • Chart 1 - Mobile subscribers and annual change – 2000 – 2014
  • Chart 2 - Mobile operator market share - 2013
  • Chart 3 - Dialog Axiata subscribers and market share - 2004-2014
  • Chart 4 - Dialog Axiata prepaid subscribers - 2004-2014
  • Chart 5 - Mobitel subscribers and market share - 2005-2013
  • Chart 6 - Estisalat Sri Lanka subscribers – 2005 - 2013
  • Exhibit 1 – Special rural subscriber tariffs

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