Sri Lanka - Key Statistics, Telecom Market Overview and Forecasts - Historical

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Last updated: 18 Nov 2015 Update History

Report Status: Archived

Report Pages: 21

Analyst: Peter Evans


Sri Lanka’s telecommunications sector has had to contend with a developing market in the difficult context of a nearly two-decade-long conflict between the government and separatist Tamil Tiger rebels. With the end of the war has come the hope of an enduring peace and a general improvement in the country’s social and economic well-being. This also found the telecom sector well positioned for vigorous growth. As this report describes, there are a range of major initiatives in place that should boost the building of national infrastructure and open the market to more competition.

Sri Lanka Telecom losing its monopoly in a number of key areas earlier on led the way and since then the market has progressively been opened up to more and more competition. While mobile penetration has historically been relatively low compared with other more developed Asian markets, it is now catching up, with penetration reaching 115% in 2015. Demand for broadband data services driven by 3G and 4G adoption and increased smartphone penetration should drive reasonably strong growth in the local market moving into 2016 and 2017. Consolidation in Sri Lanka over the next few years is possible since the market is finding it difficult to sustain all five operators.

As well as providing an overview of the telecom market in Sri Lanka, this report provides a range of key statistics for the sector plus scenario forecasts for fixed-line growth.

Key developments:

The widespread application of the WLL platform drove initial growth in the fixed however subscriber numbers are now in decline.

By 2015 fixed broadband internet services were being supplemented by a rapidly expanding mobile broadband segment.

  • Potential regulatory inhibitors to the existing market players include the super gains tax and the prepaid card levy imposed by the new government.
  • The SEA-ME-WE 5 submarine cable system that will link 17 countries will have a landing point located at Matara Sri Lanka.
  • The new cable will assist Sri Lanka in achieving its ‘SMART 2020’ digital society goals and promoting Sri Lanka as a preferred destination in the region for data centre operations.

Companies mentioned in this report:

SLT, Lanka Bell, Suntel, Dialog Axiata (formerly Dialog Telekom), Etisalat Sri Lanka (formerly Tigo), Mobitel, Hutchison Lanka, Bharti Airtel Lanka, Data Access.

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