Sri Lanka - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses
Sri Lanka's mobile broadband market gathers pace
Sri Lanka's telecoms market is relatively small but mature compared to neighbouring countries of Bangladesh and Pakistan. A good start has been made on expansion and provision of supporting infrastructure for telecommunications services.
The fixed line market in Sri Lanka remains underdeveloped due to the dominance of the mobile segment. Further, the number of fixed telephone lines is slowly declining as the mobile segment continues to expand. Overall penetration dropped from 16.3% in 2012 to 11.3% in 2017. The market is predicted to decline further over the next five years to 2022 as the mobile segment continues to grow for both voice and data/broadband usage.
Sri Lanka's mobile market has experienced strong growth over the last five years.
By offering an effective and efficient alternative to the fixed-line networks, with their chronic problems in meeting the general demand for telephone services, the mobile phone has become an essential service and has grown strongly.
Mobile penetration has risen from 96% in 2012 to 126% in 2017. The last three years in particular have seen very strong growth led by the market leader Dialog Axiata. Slow to moderate growth is predicted over the next five years to 2022. The market will be constrained from higher growth due to very strong local competition and a saturated mobile market.
Sri Lanka has seen a very strong increase in mobile broadband penetration over the past five years with market penetration increasing from 8% in 2012 to 21% in 2017, driven by a rising level of mobile subscribers. However, the mobile broadband market is still at an early stage of development with penetration well below most other developed Asian countries.
The development of the internet remains of particular concern for Sri Lanka. Coverage and accessibility remains limited and the sophistication of the available services generally remained low.
Fixed broadband penetration in Sri Lanka remains very low mainly due to the dominance of the mobile platform. Also, 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 with penetration increasing from 1.7% in 2012 to 4.7% in 2017. Over the next five years to 2022 strong growth is expected to continue.
Ongoing growth in the telecoms market is likely to be spearheaded by data services (from both mobile and fixed sources). Demand for broadband data services driven by 4G adoption and increased smartphone penetration should drive reasonably strong growth in the local market over the next few years.
The market is now moving from 4G towards 5G mobile services. Dialog Axiata carried out a 5G' network capability trial with technology partners Ericsson and Huawei in Colombo.
The availability of e-commerce applications including mobile banking, e-bus ticketing, and mobile points of sale (POS) continues to increase.
Moderate growth is predicted over the next five years for Sri Lanka's internet market.
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.
The availability of e-commerce applications continues to increase.
Companies mentioned in this report:
SLT (Sri Lanka Telecom), Mobitel, Dialog Axiata; Etisalat Sri Lanka; Hutchison Lanka; Bharti Airtel Lanka; SLT, Lanka Bell, Suntel.
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