The generally improving market environment has seen Sri lanka’s telecom sector well positioned for continuing vigorous growth, a leading market research report states. The already modern and progressive telecommunications sector is certainly high on the list of priorities for further expansion and development. This also fits well with the government’s wider agenda for national development, the report of Research and Markets says.
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Sri Lanka’s telecom sector experiencing a major ‘pause’ in its development trajectoryWith the end of the war in 2009 Sri Lanka entered what is referred to as a ‘post-conflict’ phase. By 2012/2013 there were positive signs of a general improvement in the country’s social and economic well-being. And the telecom sector in particular is starting to build a fresh momentum.
A good start has been made on the expansion and provision of infrastructure that is capable of providing a sophisticated level of telecommunications service to the population throughout the whole country. Extending infrastructure into the North and Eastern provinces, those parts of the country most affected by the long-running war is being given high priority. It is well recognized that the growth and development of any country’s telecom sector is necessary to provide, among other things, an impetus for national economic activity. Nevertheless, much still needs to be done to complete the build-out of the necessary national infrastructure.
After a five-year period of strong growth the fixed-line subscriber market flattened out and then entered into a decline. Considerable uncertainty hangs over this segment of the telecom market. The widespread application of the Wireless Local Loop (WLL) platform has been one positive element in a struggling sector. There was a large concentration of fixed services in the capital Colombo, which has a penetration of 35%.
In the meantime, the country’s mobile telephone services have continued on a positive growth path. As an effective and efficient alternative to the fixed-line networks, with their earlier problems in meeting the demand for telephone services, the mobile phone quickly became a popular and essential service. The Sri Lankan mobile market was still growing at an annual rate of around 50% in 2009 in as it headed towards the 60% penetration mark. However, since then subscriber growth has moderated to less than 10% per annum.