Sri Lanka - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Sri Lanka’s makes significant progress in its IoT ventures

In 2018 the government’s Board of Investment of Sri Lanka formally approved a significant investment for network expansion and upgrade work on 4G mobile and fixed broadband services.

Fixed broadband penetration in Sri Lanka remains very low mainly due to the dominance of the mobile platform and the limited and declining number of fixed lines is restricting more widespread development of fixed broadband. However, the market has grown strongly over the past five years from a very small base. Over the next five years to 2023 strong growth is expected to continue.

Sri Lanka’s mobile market has experienced strong growth over the last six years. Slow growth is predicted over the next five years to 2023. The market will be constrained from higher growth due to very strong local competition and a highly saturated mobile market.

The market is now moving from 4G towards 5G mobile services. Dialog Axiata has carried out a ‘5G’ network capability trial with technology partners Ericsson and Huawei in Colombo. The demonstration included a range of 5G solutions including Massive MIMO, cloud radio and IoT-based smart parking and real time 4K video streaming.

Dialog Axiata has claimed South Asia’s first launch of a NB-IoT-enabled network supporting IoT solutions such as Connected Home and Car Connect. Mobitel has completed a further round of proof-of-concept (PoC) tests of LTE-Advanced Pro (LTE-A Pro) technology in Colombo.

Sri Lanka has seen a very strong increase in mobile broadband penetration over the past six years, driven by a rising level of 4G mobile subscribers. However, the mobile broadband market is still at an early stage of development with penetration well below most other developed Asian countries. Strong growth is predicted over the next five years to 2023.

Key developments:

  • Dialog Axiata has claimed South Asia's first launch of a NB-IoT-enabled network.
  • Mobitel has completed a further round of proof-of-concept (PoC) tests of LTE-Advanced Pro.
  • The market is now moving from 4G towards 5G mobile services.
  • Fixed broadband penetration in Sri Lanka remains very low mainly due to the dominance of the mobile platform.
  • Sri Lanka has seen a very strong increase in mobile broadband penetration over the past five years.

Companies mentioned in this report:

SLT (Sri Lanka Telecom), Mobitel, Dialog Axiata; Etisalat Sri Lanka; Hutchison Lanka; Bharti Airtel Lanka; SLT, Lanka Bell, Suntel.

Table of Contents

  • Key statistics

  • Country overview

    • Background
  • Telecommunications market

    • Market overview and analysis
    • Regional Asian market comparison
  • Regulatory environment

    • Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC)
    • National Policy on Telecommunications
  • Fixed network operators

    • Overview of operators
    • SLT (Sri Lanka Telecom)
    • Lanka Bell
    • Dialog Broadband Networks (DBN)
  • Telecommunications infrastructure

    • Introduction
    • Fixed-line statistics
    • National Broadband Network
    • Other developments
      • Wireless Local Loop (WLL)
      • Fibre optic networks
      • Fibre to the Building (FttB)
    • International infrastructure
      • Submarine
    • DATA CENTRES
  • Fixed-line broadband market

    • Introduction
    • Fixed broadband statistics and market forecast
    • Fixed-line broadband technologies
      • Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) networks
      • Wireless broadband/WiMAX
      • WiFi
  • Mobile market

    • Mobile statistics and market forecast
    • Mobile broadband statistics and market forecast
    • VoLTE
    • MIMO
    • Mobile regulatory issues
      • Pricing
  • Mobile infrastructure

    • 3G
    • 4G
    • 5G
  • Major mobile operators

    • Operators
    • Dialog Axiata
    • Mobitel
    • Etisalat Sri Lanka
    • Hutchison Lanka
    • Bharti Airtel Lanka
  • Mobile content and applications

    • m-Commerce
  • Smart infrastructure

    • Internet of Things (IoT)
    • Smart Cities
  • Digital economy

    • E-commerce
    • e-Payments
    • E-government
    • e-Health
    • e-Education
      • School Net project
      • Connect To Learn Project in Kandy
  • Digital media

    • Broadcasting
    • Project Loon
    • Digital Terrestrial TV (DTT)
  • Related reports


List of Tables

  • Table 1 – Top Level Country Statistics and Telco Authorities – 2018 (e)
  • Table 2 – Percentage of Population covered by type of mobile network
  • Table 3 – Key Metrics - Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) - 2018 – 2023
  • Table 4 – Number of telecom operator licences by category – 2018
  • Table 5 – Historic - Fixed-line operators and subscribers – 2011 – 2014
  • Table 6 – SLT fixed broadband subscribers – 2015 – 2018
  • Table 7 – Historic - SLT fixed-line subscribers
  • Table 8 – Historic - Lanka Bell fixed-line subscribers – 1999 – 2014
  • Table 9 – Historic - DBN fixed-line subscribers – 2008 – 2014
  • Table 10 – Fixed line subscriptions and penetration – 2007 – 2018
  • Table 11 – Historic – fixed-line subscribers, annual change and penetration – 1995 – 2005
  • Table 12 – Historic - Fixed subscribers – wireline and wireless (WLL) - 2009 – 2016
  • Table 13 – Historic - WLL subscribers – 1996 – 2016
  • Table 14 – Fixed broadband subscribers (with forecast) – 2007 – 2023
  • Table 15 – Historic - Fixed broadband subscribers and penetration – 2002 – 2011
  • Table 16 – Historic - DSL subscribers – 2003 – 2014
  • Table 17 – Internet users and penetration (with forecast) – 2007 – 2018
  • Table 18 – Historic - Internet users, annual change and penetration – 1996 – 2012
  • Table 19 – Fixed internet subscribers – 1994 – 2018
  • Table 20 – International internet bandwidth and annual growth– 1998 – 2017
  • Table 21 – Mobile subscribers and penetration (with forecast) – 2007 – 2023
  • Table 22 – Historic - Mobile subscribers, annual change and penetration – 1995 – 2010
  • Table 23 – Mobile broadband subscribers and penetration (with forecast) – 2009 – 2023
  • Table 24 – Mobile operators and systems
  • Table 25 – Mobile operator subscribers and market share – 2018
  • Table 26 – Mobile operator subscribers and market share – 2017
  • Table 27 – Dialog Axiata prepaid /postpaid subscribers and market share – 2004 – 2018
  • Table 28 – Dialog Axiata ARPU – 2007 – 2018
  • Table 29 – Mobitel subscribers – 2004 – 2018
  • Table 30 – Mobitel annual revenue – 2015 – 2017
  • Table 31 – Etisalat Sri Lanka subscribers - 2004 – 2017
  • Table 32 – Hutchison Lanka subscribers – 2006 – 2017
  • Table 33 – Bharti Airtel Lanka subscribers – 2009 – 2017
  • Table 34 – Historic - Key broadcasting statistics – 2016

List of Charts

  • Chart 1 – Mobile, Mobile Broadband & Fixed Broadband Penetration – 2018; 2023
  • Chart 2 – Asian Telecoms Maturity Index by Market Category
  • Chart 3 – Asian Telecoms Maturity Index vs GDP per Capita
  • Chart 4 – Telecoms Maturity Index – Central Asia
  • Chart 5 – Fixed line subscriptions and penetration – 2007 – 2018
  • Chart 6 – Fixed broadband subscribers (with forecast) - 2008 – 2023
  • Chart 7 – Mobile subscribers and penetration (with Forecast) – 2007 – 2023
  • Chart 8 – Mobile broadband subscribers and penetration (with forecast) – 2009 – 2023

List of Exhibits

  • Exhibit 1 – Key Market Characteristics by Market Segment
  • Exhibit 2 – Central Asia -Key Characteristics of Telecoms Markets by Country

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