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


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

Sri Lanka's mobile market continues to grow strongly

Sri Lanka Telecom is 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. The penetration of fixed lines in Sri Lanka declined sharply from to 13% in 2013 from 17% in 2012. Since then penetration been very slightly declining, reaching 12.4% in 2015 and 12.3% in 2016.

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.

The highly competitive mobile market in Sri Lanka had been running with a healthy overall annual growth rate for some years. The mobile subscriber growth rate in Sri Lanka has been strong between 2011 and 2016. Mobile market penetration increased from 87% in 2011 to 105% in 2014, 116% in 2015 and 123% in 2016. The rate of growth will begin to decline over the next five years to 2021 as the market reaches a heightened state of maturity. Mobile broadband is growing strongly in Sri Lanka, driven by strong mobile subscriber growth. Market penetration has increased from 8% in 2013 to 13% in 2014 and is predicted to reach 18% in 2016.

The market has undoubtedly benefited from its liberalisation and the competition that came with five operators continuing to battle it out for market share. However consolidation in Sri Lanka over the next few years is possible since the market is finding it increasingly difficult to sustain all five operators. In December 2015 Dialog Axiata, was believed to be in negotiations to buy Bharti Airtel Lanka for USD100 million. By September 2016 the merger deal between Dialog Axiata and Bharti Airtel still had not occurred.

The early moves to offer broadband in the country met with limited success and it seemed that it would be some time before there is a substantial broadband market. However, by 2016 fixed broadband internet services were being supplemented by a rapidly expanding mobile broadband segment. Also during 2016 the availability of e-commerce applications including mobile banking, e-bus ticketing, and mobile points of sale (POS) continued to increase. Demand for broadband data services driven by 3G and 4G adoption and increased smartphone penetration should drive reasonably strong growth in the local market over the next few years.

Fixed broadband penetration in Sri Lanka is increasing strongly from a very small base. Penetration increased from 1.7% in 2012 to 2.6% in 2014 and 3.7% in 2016. Fixed broadband penetration is predicted to grow strongly to reach over 8.% by 2021.

Key developments:

In 2016 Dialog Axiata and Mobitel completed successful trials of 4.5G technology, demonstrating download speeds in excess of 1Gbps.
Dialog Axiata launched the country's first voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) service enabling ultra-high quality voice and video calls over its 4G networks.
SLT announced the completion of its i-Sri Lanka' broadband project with Chinese technology partners ZTE and Huawei. Through the i-Sri Lanka program initiated in 2011, SLT sought to provide broadband connectivity at 20Mbps to 90% of its customers.
Fixed broadband services were being supplemented by a rapidly expanding mobile broadband segment.

Companies mentioned in this report:

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


1. Executive summary
2. Key statistics
3. Country overview
3.1 Background
3.2 Economy
4. Telecommunications market
4.1 Market Overview and Analysis
5. Regulatory environment
5.1 Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC)
5.2 National Policy on Telecommunications
5.3 Licences
6. Fixed network operators
6.1 Overview of operators
6.2 SLT (formerly Sri Lanka Telecom)
6.3 Lanka Bell
6.4 Dialog Broadband Networks (DBN)
7. Telecommunications infrastructure
7.1 Overview of the national telecom network
7.2 Fixed-line statistics
7.3 National Broadband Network
7.4 Other developments
7.4.1 Wireless Local Loop (WLL)
7.4.2 Fibre optic networks
7.4.3 Fibre to the Building (FttB)
7.5 International infrastructure
7.5.1 Submarine
7.6 Specific IT developments
7.6.1 Cloud Computing
8. Fixed-line broadband market
8.1 Market Overview nalysis
8.2 Internet and Broadband statistics
8.3 Forecasts broadband subscribers 2016; 2018; 2021
8.3.1 Notes on scenario forecasts
8.4 Fixed-line broadband technologies
8.4.1 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) networks
8.4.2 Wireless broadband/WiMAX
8.4.3 WiFi
9. Mobile market
9.1 Market Overview and Analysis
9.2 Mobile statistics
9.3 Mobile broadband
9.4 VoLTE
9.5 Forecasts mobile subscribers 2016; 2018; 2021
9.6 Mobile Regulatory issues
9.6.1 Pricing
10. Mobile infrastructure
10.1 Digital networks
10.1.1 3G
10.1.2 4G LTE
10.1.3 4.5G developments
11. Major mobile operators
11.1 Operators
11.2 Dialog Axiata (formerly Dialog Telekom)
11.3 Mobitel
11.4 Etisalat Sri Lanka
11.5 Hutchison Lanka
11.6 Bharti Airtel Lanka
11.7 m-commerce
12. Digital economy
12.1 E-commerce
12.2 E-government
12.3 e-Health
12.4 e-Education
12.4.1 School Net project
12.4.2 Connect To Learn Project in Kandy
13. Digital Media
13.1 Broadcasting
13.2 Project Loon
13.3 Digital Terrestrial TV (DTT)
13.4 Internet Protocol TV (IPTV)
13.5 Cable and pay TV
14. Related reports
Table 1 Country statistics Sri Lanka 2016 (e)
Table 2 Telephone network statistics 2016 (e)
Table 3 Internet user statistics 2016 (e)
Table 4 Broadband statistics 2016 (e)
Table 5 Mobile statistics 2016 (e)
Table 6 National telecommunications authorities
Table 7 Sri Lanka's real GDP growth rate 2006 - 2016
Table 8 Number of telecom operator licences by category - 2016
Table 9 Historic - Fixed-line operators and subscribers
Table 10 Historic - SLT fixed-line subscribers
Table 11 Historic - SLT fixed-line subscribers wireline and WLL
Table 12 Histocic - SLT (Sky Network) broadband subscribers
Table 13 Historic - SLT's DSL broadband subscribers (from old ISP section)
Table 14 Historic - Lanka Bell fixed-line subscribers
Table 15 Historic - DBN fixed-line subscribers
Table 16 Fixed-lines subscribers, annual change and penetration - 2006 - 2016
Table 17 Fixed subscribers wireline and wireless (WLL) - 2009 - 2016
Table 18 Historical fixed-line subscribers, annual change and penetration 1995 - 2005
Table 19 Historical - WLL subscribers
Table 20 WLL subscribers 2006 2016
Table 21 Internet users, annual change and penetration 1996 - 2016
Table 22 Fixed internet subscribers 1994 - 2016
Table 23 Computer penetration by household 2005 - 2016
Table 24 International internet bandwidth 1998 - 2016
Table 25 Fixed broadband subscribers and penetration 2002 - 2016
Table 26 Historic DSL subscribers
Table 27 Broadband subscribers fixed and mobile 2010 - 2016
Table 28 Sri Lanka - Forecast Broadband subscribers 2016; 2018; 2021
Table 29 Historic - Mobile subscribers, annual change and penetration 1995 - 2005
Table 30 Mobile subscribers, annual change and penetration 2006 - 2016
Table 31 Mobile broadband subscribers 2009 - 2016
Table 32 Forecast mobile subscriber growth 2016; 2018; 2021
Table 33 Mobile operators and systems
Table 34 Mobile operator market share based on subscribers 2016
Table 35 Dialog Axiata subscribers and market share 2004 - 2016
Table 36 Dialog Axiata prepaid subscribers 2004 - 2016
Table 37 Dialog Axiata ARPU postpaid, prepaid and blended 2007 - 2016
Table 38 Dialog's smartphone penetration 2014 - 2016
Table 39 Mobitel subscribers 2004 - 2016
Table 40 Historic - Mobitel: 3G mobile subscribers
Table 41 Etisalat Sri Lanka subscribers - 2004 - 2016
Table 42 Historic - Etisalat: 3G mobile subscribers
Table 43 Hutchison Lanka subscribers 2006 - 2016
Table 44 Hutchison: 3G mobile subscribers
Table 45 Bharti Airtel Lanka subscribers 2009 - 2016
Table 46 Bharti Airtel: 3G mobile subscribers
Table 47 Key broadcasting statistics
Table 48 DTV's DTH subscribers 2008 - 2016
Chart 1 - Fixed lines subscribers and annual change 2006 - 2016
Chart 2 - Fixed broadband subscribers and penetration 2005 2016
Chart 3 - Mobile subscribers and annual change 2006 - 2016

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