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TMCNet:  Sri Lanka : The market is now preparing to move from 4G towards 5G mobile services

[March 16, 2020]

Sri Lanka : The market is now preparing to move from 4G towards 5G mobile services

Sydney, March 17, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Just released, this edition of Paul Budde Communication’s focus report on Sri Lanka outlines the major developments and key aspects in the telecoms markets.
Read the full report: https://www.budde.com.au/Research/Sri-Lanka-Telecoms-Mobile-and-Broadband-Statistics-and-Analyses


Sri Lanka prepares for 5G auction

Sri Lanka is building a national fibre network linked to numerous international cables. This 45,000km network, built and managed by Sri Lanka Telecom, will serve as the backbone for fixed broadband and mobile services, including 5G.

The government’s Board of Investment of Sri Lanka supports the development of the telecom sector. Its funding as approved in 2018 and 2019 provided significant investment for network expansion and upgrades to mobile and fixed broadband infrastructure.

The market is now preparing to move from 4G towards 5G mobile services. Dialog Axiata and Mobitel conducted pre-commercial 5G trials during 2019, and Dialog has thus far repurposed 20% of its LTE antennae for 5G.

The fierce competition in the mobile market pushed Hutchison Lanka to merge with Etisalat Lanka in December 2018, being rebranded as Hutch and becoming the third largest operator in the country.

Sri Lanka has seen a very strong increase in mobile broadband penetration over the past six years, driven by rising usage of online video and the price drop of LTE-enabled smartphones. However, the market remains at an early stage of development, with penetration well below most other developed Asian countries. Strong growth is predicted over the next five years at least.

Fixed broadband penetration in Sri Lanka remains very low, partly due to poor fixed-line infrastructure and partly to the dominance of the mobile platform. However, the market has developed well over the last few years, albeit from a low base, and is supported by the two main telcos providing bundled service offerings including mobile, fixed broadband and video content. The telecom sector overall is being bolstered by the continuous expansion of the fibre and LTE networks, as well as growing investment in 5G.

Key developments:

  • Dialog Axiata and Mobitel (Group SLT) run 5G pre-commercial tests, aiming to invest $254 million in network expansion;
  • Fixed broadband penetration remains relatively low but is growing steadily;
  • Maldives Sri Lanka Cable (MSC) is commisioned, expected to be lit at end-2020,
  • Telecommunication Levy is reduced to 11.25% of telecom service revenue;
  • High mobile penetration leading to slow-down in market growth;
  • Mobile broadband subscriber growth continuing steadily, supported by wider LTE coverage and cheaper LTE-enabled devices;
  • Telco market remains resilient despite the difficult macro environment (economic crises, presidential election and terrorist attacks);
  • Report update includes the regulator’s market data to December 2019, telco’s operating and financial data for Q4 2019, Telecom Maturity Index charts and analyses, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

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

Table of Contents

  • Key statistics
  • Regional Asian market comparison
  • Country overview
    • Background
  • Telecommunications market
    • Market analysis
  • Regulatory environment
    • Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC)
    • National Policy on Telecommunications
    • Telecom Levy
    • Mobile network developments
      • Pricing
  • Mobile market
    • Mobile statistics
    • Mobile infrastructure
      • Towers
      • 5G
      • 4G (LTE)
      • 3G
    • Mobile broadband
    • VoLTE
    • MIMO
    • Major mobile operators
    • Dialog Axiata
    • Mobitel
    • Etisalat Sri Lanka
    • Hutchison Lanka
    • Airtel Lanka
  • Mobile content and applications
    • m-Commerce
  • Fixed-line broadband market
    • Introduction
    • Fixed broadband statistics
    • Fixed-line broadband technologies
      • Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) networks
      • Wireless broadband/WiMAX
      • Wi-Fi
      • Wireless Local Loop (WLL)
      • Project Loon
      • National Broadband Network
      • Fibre-optic networks
      • Fibre to the Building (FttB)
  • Fixed network operators
    • Overview of operators
    • SLT (Sri Lanka Telecom)
    • Lanka Bell
    • Dialog Broadband Networks (DBN)
  • Telecommunications infrastructure
    • Introduction
    • Fixed-line statistics
    • International infrastructure
      • Submarine
    • Data centres
    • Smart infrastructure
      • Internet of Things (IoT)
      • Smart Cities
  • Digital economy
    • E-commerce
    • E-government
    • e-Health
    • e-Education
      • School Net project
      • Connect To Learn Project in Kandy
  • Appendix – Historical data
  • Related reports


  • List of Tables

    • Table 1 – Top Level Country Statistics and Telco Authorities – 2020 (e)
    • Table 2 – Population coverage by type of mobile network
    • Table 3 – Growth in the number of mobile subscribers and penetration – 2009– 2024
    • Table 4 – Growth in the number of mobile towers – 2014 – 2018
    • Table 5 – Growth in the number of mobile broadband subscribers and penetration – 2010 – 2024
    • Table 6 – Mobile operators and systems
    • Table 7 – Mobile operator subscribers and market share – 2019
    • Table 8 – Change in the number of mobile subscribers by operator – 2009 – 2019
    • Table 9 – Development of Dialog Axiata’s subscribers, annual growth – 2009 – 2019
    • Table 10 – Development of Dialog Axiata’s prepaid /postpaid subscribers and market share – 2009 – 2019
    • Table 11 – Development of Dialog Axiata’s mobile ARPU – 2007 – 2019
    • Table 12 – Development of Dialog Axiata’s revenue, capex and NPAT – 2009 – 2019
    • Table 13 – Growth in the number of Mobitel’s subscribers – 2009 – 2019 (e)
    • Table 14 – Growth in Mobitel’s revenue and EBITDA – 2009 – 2019
    • Table 15 – Development of SLT’s mobile capex– 2014 – 2018
    • Table 16 – Growth in the number of Hutchison Lanka’s mobile subscribers – 2009 – 2019
    • Table 17 – Hutchison Lanka financial data – 2017 – 2019
    • Table 18 – Growth in the number of Airtel Lanka’s subscribers – 2009 – 2019
    • Table 19 – Development of Airtel Lanka’s financial data – 2017 – 2019
    • Table 20 – Growth in the number of fixed broadband subscribers – 2009 – 2024
    • Table 21 – Growth in fibre-optic network length– 2014 – 2018
    • Table 22 – Number of telecom operator licenses by category – 2019
    • Table 23 – Development of SLT Group’s revenue by sector – 2014 – 2019
    • Table 24 – Development of SLT Group’s capex by sector – 2014 – 2018
    • Table 25 – Growth in the number of SLT’s fixed broadband subscribers – 2015 – 2018
    • Table 26 – Development of DBN’s fixed broadband and fixed 4G subscriber base – 2009 – 2019
    • Table 27 –- Growth in DBN’s revenue – 2009 – 2019
    • Table 28 –- Development of DBN’s EBITDA and net profit – 2014 – 2019
    • Table 29 – Decline in the number of fixed-line connections and penetration – 2009 – 2024
    • Table 30 – Growth in international internet bandwidth – 2009 – 2017
    • Table 31 – Historic - Mobile subscribers, annual change and penetration – 1995 – 2010
    • Table 32 – Historic - Dialog Axiata prepaid /postpaid subscribers in millions and market share – 2004 – 2009
    • Table 33 – Historic - Etisalat Sri Lanka subscribers - 2004 – 2010
    • Table 34 – Historic - Fixed broadband subscribers and penetration – 2002 – 2011
    • Table 35 – Historic - DSL subscribers – 2003 – 2014
    • Table 36 – Historic - WLL subscribers – 1996 – 2016
    • Table 37 – Historic - SLT fixed-line subscribers – 1999 – 2014
    • Table 38 – Historic – fixed-line subscribers, annual change and penetration – 1995 – 2005
    • Table 39 – Historic - Fixed subscribers – wireline and wireless (WLL) - 2009 – 2016
    • Table 40 – Historic - Lanka Bell fixed-line subscribers – 1999 – 2014
    • Table 41 – Historic - International internet bandwidth – 1998 – 2009
    • Table 42 – Historic - Key broadcasting statistics – 2016

    List of Charts

    • Chart 1 – Asian Telecoms Maturity Index by Market Category
    • Chart 2 – Asian Telecoms Maturity Index vs GDP per Capita
    • Chart 3 – Telecoms Maturity Index – Central Asia
    • Chart 4 – Mobile, mobile broadband and fixed broadband penetration – 2019; 2024
    • Chart 5 – Growth in the number of mobile subscribers and penetration – 2009– 2024
    • Chart 6 – Growth in the number of mobile towers – 2014 – 2018
    • Chart 7 – Growth in the number of mobile broadband subscribers and penetration – 2009 – 2024
    • Chart 8 – Change in the number of mobile subscribers by operator – 2009 – 2019
    • Chart 9 – Development of Dialog Axiata’s subscribers, annual growth – 2009 – 2019
    • Chart 10 – Development of Dialog Axiata’s prepaid /postpaid subscribers – 2009 – 2019
    • Chart 11 – Development of Dialog Axiata’s revenue, capex and NPAT – 2009 – 2019
    • Chart 12 – Growth in the number of Mobitel’s subscribers – 2009 – 2019 (e)
    • Chart 13 – Growth in Mobitel’s revenue and EBITDA – 2009 – 2019
    • Chart 14 – Development of SLT’s mobile capex– 2014 – 2018
    • Chart 15 – Growth in the number of Airtel Lanka’s subscribers – 2009 – 2019
    • Chart 16 – Growth in the number of fixed broadband subscribers – 2009 – 2024
    • Chart 17 – Development of SLT Group’s revenue by sector – 2014 – 2019
    • Chart 18 – Development of SLT Group’s capex by sector – 2014 – 2018
    • Chart 19 – Growth in the number of SLT’s fixed broadband subscribers – 2015 – 2018
    • Chart 20 – Growth in DBN’s revenue – 2009 – 2019
    • Chart 21 – Development of DBN’s EBITDA and net profit – 2014 – 2019
    • Chart 22 – Decline in the number of fixed-line connections and penetration – 2009 – 2024

    List of Exhibits

    • Exhibit 1 – Key Market Characteristics by Market Segment
    • Exhibit 2 – Central Asia -Key Characteristics of Telecoms Markets by Country
    • Exhibit 3 – Hutch Lanka spectrum concessions

     

    Read the full report: https://www.budde.com.au/Research/Sri-Lanka-Telecoms-Mobile-and-Broadband-Statistics-and-Analyses

     

    Nicolas Bombourg
    nbombourg@budde.com.au
    
    Within Australia
    (02) 8076 7665
    
    Outside Australia
    +44 207 097 1241
    

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