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

March 2020 | 102 pages | ID: SF3CAF4212F6EN
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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.
1 KEY STATISTICS

2 REGIONAL ASIAN MARKET COMPARISON

3 COUNTRY OVERVIEW

3.1 Background

4 TELECOMMUNICATIONS MARKET

4.1 Market analysis

5 REGULATORY ENVIRONMENT

5.1 Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC)
5.2 National Policy on Telecommunications
5.3 Telecom Levy
5.4 Mobile network developments

6 MOBILE MARKET

6.1 Mobile statistics
6.2 Mobile infrastructure
6.3 Mobile broadband
6.4 VoLTE
6.5 MIMO
6.6 Major mobile operators
6.7 Mobile content and applications

7 FIXED-LINE BROADBAND MARKET

7.1 Introduction
7.2 Fixed broadband statistics
7.3 Fixed-line broadband technologies

8 FIXED NETWORK OPERATORS

8.1 Overview of operators
8.2 SLT (Sri Lanka Telecom)
8.3 Lanka Bell
8.4 Dialog Broadband Networks (DBN)

9 TELECOMMUNICATIONS INFRASTRUCTURE

9.1 Introduction
9.2 Fixed-line statistics
9.3 International infrastructure
9.4 Data centres
9.5 Smart infrastructure

10 DIGITAL ECONOMY

10.1 E-commerce
10.2 E-government
10.3 e-Health
10.4 e-Education

11 APPENDIX HISTORICAL DATA

12 RELATED REPORTS

LIST OF TABLES, CHARTS AND EXHIBITS

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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