Sri Lanka (Insights Equity) – Sri Lanka’s total internet connections rose by 23 percent for the year ended March 2018 as mobile broadband subscriber expansion continued to dominate the country’s internet penetration, according to latest data released by The Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL).
During the period, approximately 1.2 million new internet subscribers entered the market with 75 percent of them using mobile phones to access the world wide web, up from 73 percent for the same period ending in March 2017, when 1.0 million new internet users were added recording a growth of 24 percent. In September 2017, Sri Lankan government removed the levy imposed on broadband services bringing the total effective tax rate charged on data to 20 percent down from 32 percent earlier while that on voice remained at 50 percent.
The report further indicates that the number of fixed line subscribers declined by 1 percent for the period while the mobile subscribers ticked up by 4 percent. As of 2017, the country had 132 and 12 mobile and fixed line connections respectively per 100 inhabitants; higher than 99 and 8 respectively recorded for developing countries, according to data compiled by International Telecommunication Union (ITU).
Sri Lanka’s telco industry is characterised by intense competition with CK Hutchison Group and Emirates Telecommunications Group Company PJSC announcing a merger of their mobile telecommunication businesses in the country in April 2018.
Analysis by: Dulan Lokuwithana
Sources: International Telecommunication Union and The Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka