Sri Lanka - Fixed Network Operators - Historical

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Last updated: 18 Nov 2015 Update History

Report Status: Archived

Report Pages: 16

Analyst: Peter Evans


Sri Lanka’s telecom sector has expanded considerably over the last decade or so, although from a relatively small base. After the initial liberalisation of telecom sector, the opening up of the market was further accelerated when Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) subsequently started to lose its monopoly status. The number of fixed-line telephone service operators in the country grew to four and, together with the country’s five licensed mobile operators, more than 60 other companies had started providing a variety of telecommunications services around the country. SLT’s share of the total fixed-line subscriber base had fallen to around 41% by 2011; this was down from 87% in 2004. SLT was gaining market share again in 2013/14. By 2014 its market share had climbed to 61%, as the overall market shrank in size.

The widespread application of the Wireless Local Loop (WLL) platform drove initial growth in the fixed-line sector; however by 2015 fixed internet subscribers continue to grow at a very slow rate of under 4% per annum. This trend is expected to continue into 2016 and 2017. In spite of this, fixed broadband internet services are now being supplemented by a rapidly expanding mobile broadband segment.

The report looks at Sri Lanka Telecom and some of the other leading players in the market.

Key developments:

  • in 2015 SLT launched the first ultra-speed nationwide DWDM fibre-optic backbone transmission network;
  • Lanka Bell’s fixed subscriber base continued to decrease, after earlier threatening SLT’s position as market leader;
  • Reports indicated that Lanka Bell had moved away from a plan to sell equity;
  • SLT launched an optical fibre project for the island’s northern areas;
  • Dialog/DBN has grown significantly on the back of its 2012 acquisition of Suntel;
  • SLT was estimated to be holding 60% of the fixed line subscriber market by mid-2015.

Companies mentioned in this report:

SLT, Mobitel, Suntel, Lanka Bell; Dialog, Axiata.

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