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

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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.

BuddeComm notes that the outbreak of the Coronavirus in 2020 is having a significant impact on production and supply chains globally. During the coming year the telecoms sector to various degrees is likely to experience a downturn in mobile device production, while it may also be difficult for network operators to manage workflows when maintaining and upgrading existing infrastructure. Overall progress towards 5G may be postponed or slowed down in some countries.

On the consumer side, spending on telecoms services and devices is under pressure from the financial effect of large-scale job losses and the consequent restriction on disposable incomes. However, the crucial nature of telecom services, both for general communication as well as a tool for home-working, will offset such pressures. In many markets the net effect should be a steady though reduced increased in subscriber growth.

Although it is challenging to predict and interpret the long-term impacts of the crisis as it develops, these have been acknowledged in the industry forecasts contained in this report.

The report also covers the responses of the telecom operators as well as government agencies and regulators as they react to the crisis to ensure that citizens can continue to make optimum use of telecom services. This can be reflected in subsidy schemes and the promotion of tele-health and tele-education, among other solutions.

Key developments:

Dialog Axiata and Mobitel (Group SLT) run 5G pre-commercial tests, aiming to invest USD 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, assessment of the global impact of COVID-19 on the telecoms sector, 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.

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Table Of Content

Scope

1 Key statistics

2 Regional Asian market comparison

3 Country overview

3.1 Background

4 COVID-19 and its impact on the telecom sector

4.1 Economic considerations and responses

4.2 Mobile devices

4.3 Subscribers

4.4 Infrastructure

5 Telecommunications market

5.1 Market analysis

6 Regulatory environment

6.1 Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC)

6.2 National Policy on Telecommunications

6.3 Telecom Levy

6.4 Mobile network developments

7 Mobile market

7.1 Mobile statistics

7.2 Mobile infrastructure

7.3 Mobile broadband

7.4 VoLTE

7.5 MIMO

7.6 Major mobile operators

7.7 Mobile content and applications

8 Fixed-line broadband market

8.1 Introduction

8.2 Fixed broadband statistics

8.3 Fixed-line broadband technologies

9 Fixed network operators

9.1 Overview of operators

9.2 SLT (Sri Lanka Telecom)

9.3 Lanka Bell

9.4 Dialog Broadband Networks (DBN)

10 Telecommunications infrastructure

10.1 Introduction

10.2 Fixed-line statistics

10.3 International infrastructure

10.4 Data centres

10.5 Smart infrastructure

11 Digital economy

11.1 E-commerce

11.2 E-government

11.3 e-Health

11.4 e-Education

12 Appendix Historical data

13 Related reports

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

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

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

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Products and Companies

Products

paul budde communication, buddecomm, telecomunications research, country profile, Broadband Fixed, Broadcasting, Companies (Major Players), Digital Economy, Digital Media, Internet, Mobile & Wireless Broadband and Media, Mobile Communications (voice and infrastructure), Regulations & Government Policies, Smart Infrastructure, Strategies & Analyses (Industry & Markets), Telecoms Infrastructure, Asia, Sri Lanka


Companies

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

Company Profile

Company Profile Title

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.

BuddeComm notes that the outbreak of the Coronavirus in 2020 is having a significant impact on production and supply chains globally. During the coming year the telecoms sector to various degrees is likely to experience a downturn in mobile device production, while it may also be difficult for network operators to manage workflows when maintaining and upgrading existing infrastructure. Overall progress towards 5G may be postponed or slowed down in some countries.

On the consumer side, spending on telecoms services and devices is under pressure from the financial effect of large-scale job losses and the consequent restriction on disposable incomes. However, the crucial nature of telecom services, both for general communication as well as a tool for home-working, will offset such pressures. In many markets the net effect should be a steady though reduced increased in subscriber growth.

Although it is challenging to predict and interpret the long-term impacts of the crisis as it develops, these have been acknowledged in the industry forecasts contained in this report.

The report also covers the responses of the telecom operators as well as government agencies and regulators as they react to the crisis to ensure that citizens can continue to make optimum use of telecom services. This can be reflected in subsidy schemes and the promotion of tele-health and tele-education, among other solutions.

Key developments:

Dialog Axiata and Mobitel (Group SLT) run 5G pre-commercial tests, aiming to invest USD 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, assessment of the global impact of COVID-19 on the telecoms sector, 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.

READ MORE

Scope

1 Key statistics

2 Regional Asian market comparison

3 Country overview

3.1 Background

4 COVID-19 and its impact on the telecom sector

4.1 Economic considerations and responses

4.2 Mobile devices

4.3 Subscribers

4.4 Infrastructure

5 Telecommunications market

5.1 Market analysis

6 Regulatory environment

6.1 Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC)

6.2 National Policy on Telecommunications

6.3 Telecom Levy

6.4 Mobile network developments

7 Mobile market

7.1 Mobile statistics

7.2 Mobile infrastructure

7.3 Mobile broadband

7.4 VoLTE

7.5 MIMO

7.6 Major mobile operators

7.7 Mobile content and applications

8 Fixed-line broadband market

8.1 Introduction

8.2 Fixed broadband statistics

8.3 Fixed-line broadband technologies

9 Fixed network operators

9.1 Overview of operators

9.2 SLT (Sri Lanka Telecom)

9.3 Lanka Bell

9.4 Dialog Broadband Networks (DBN)

10 Telecommunications infrastructure

10.1 Introduction

10.2 Fixed-line statistics

10.3 International infrastructure

10.4 Data centres

10.5 Smart infrastructure

11 Digital economy

11.1 E-commerce

11.2 E-government

11.3 e-Health

11.4 e-Education

12 Appendix Historical data

13 Related reports

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

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

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

• Single User Licences (for access by one person),
• 10 User Licences (for access for up to 10 Users),
• 20 User Licences (for access for up to 20 Users), and
• Site Licences (allow access by all staff within the country of purchase).

To know more information on Purchase by Section, please send a mail to support@kenresearch.com

INQUIRE FOR COVID-19 IMPACT ANALYSIS

Products

paul budde communication, buddecomm, telecomunications research, country profile, Broadband Fixed, Broadcasting, Companies (Major Players), Digital Economy, Digital Media, Internet, Mobile & Wireless Broadband and Media, Mobile Communications (voice and infrastructure), Regulations & Government Policies, Smart Infrastructure, Strategies & Analyses (Industry & Markets), Telecoms Infrastructure, Asia, Sri Lanka


Companies

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