Sri Lanka’s fixed-line subscriptions have shown a decline in the country, with robust growth in fixed internet connections helping to offset fixed-line losses, while mobile uptake has soared in recent years, with penetration now standing at over 100 percent.
The number of fixed line telephone subscribers in Sri Lanka which was 3.6 million in the year 2011, had decreased by 28 per cent to 2.6 million by the year 2017, latest statistics revealed.
Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT), the only fixed wire-line telecommunications service provider in the country, is grappling with a sharp increase in fixed wire-line disconnections and dropping demand for new connections, SLT, trade union leaders said.
The number of mobile phone subscribers had indicated a combined annual increase during the last 12 years.
Thus, the number of mobile telephone subscribers which was 3.36 million in the year 2005 had increased by 739 per cent to 28.2 million by the end of the year 2017.
The telephone density had increased up to 143.64 per 100 persons.
However, these statistics do not reflect the actual position as a considerable number of active Subscription Identity Module Cards (SIM cards) were being used by one and the same person.
Fierce competition in an overcrowded market is the most significant challenge to future growth, as five operators compete for market share in a country with just 20m people.
Unprecedented demand for data services has driven the strongest players to invest heavily in new infrastructure and acquire smaller operators in a bid to expand their networks – a trend that is expected to continue.