Sri Lanka Telecommunications Q1 2019
High saturation will weigh on mobile market growth, with the largest organic opportunities likely to come from rural andunderserved areas. The country's precarious tax regime, however, will likely complicate investments, with the government starting inApril 2018 to impose a levy of LKR200,000 on every mobile tower. Lower margins will likely force consolidation, and smaller playerswill merge to ensure business sustainability, with Hutchison and Etisalat already announcing a merger in Q218. We believe that assetdivestment is an ongoing trend, as operators sell their tower assets to specialised towercos as part of a paradigm shift we refer to as'operator-as-a-service'.
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