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 initially growing its subscriber base rapidly, new player Bharti started losing customers in 2012; Etisalat Sri Lanka announced 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 Dialog and Mobitel looked set to launch LTE by end-2012.
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.