Dialog CEO says data pricing structures require correction: OBG

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(From the Oxford Business Group)

** Data pricing structures would require correction in the face of voice to data conversion and emergence of OTTs, Hans Wijayasuriya, Group CEO, Dialog Axiata, says **

Sri Lanka, August 2015: The transformation of the telecoms industry in Sri Lanka will come in the form of accelerated data growth, emergence of OTT threats, structural correction in data pricing, active infrastructure sharing beyond towers, and industry consolidation, the CEO of Dialog Axiata, said.

Dialog Group CEO, Hans Wijayasuriya, said the biggest challenge the country currently faces is less than viable data pricing levels driven by hyper-competition.

“Pricing has been driven down to levels that will be challenged to sustain large scale investments required to support broadband growth in the long run. There is certainly room for industry collaboration and/or consolidation, in terms of moving towards a data-optimized cost structure and rational pricing”, he said.

Wijayasuriya highlighted that operators are building out expansive data networks but not currently recovering the cost. “This formula will not work in the long run, and again is attributable to competition driven data pricing structures which have hitherto ignored the growing phenomenon of Voice to Data substitution,” he warned.

However, he is optimistic regarding the growth in the telecoms sector and recalled that Sri Lanka “has one of the most advanced and inclusive telecoms sectors in the region.

Sri Lanka’s Mobile Telecommunications sector in particular has scored many firsts including the regions first 4G commercial deployment and also boasts of the lowest Data Tariffs in the world. Provided the sector doesn´t trip up on short termism and aims at cementing long term sustainability, it will be poised for long-term growth”.

“Dialog in particular has been very focused on the themes of digital empowerment and an inclusive approach in the telecoms space” he added. “We are strong proponents of using Information and Communications, ICT, to bridge asymmetries in access and affordability, with respect to information, education, entertainment, commerce, health and other basic forms of citizen empowerment.”

Dr. Hans Wijayasuriya´s full interview will appear in the Information and Communications chapter of the first edition of The Report: Sri Lanka 2016, the Group’s guide to the country’s economic activity and investment opportunities.

The forthcoming investment guide on Sri Lanka will contain a wide range of contributions from leading representatives, such as H. E. President Maithripala Sirisena, Ashok Pathirage, Chairman of Softlogic Holdings, Mohan Pandithage, Chairman and CEO, Hayleys and others.

The Report: Sri Lanka 2016 will contain a detailed sector-by sector analysis with an emphasis on the most significant economic segments. It will assess trends and developments across the economy including macroeconomics, infrastructure, banking and other sectoral developments. The publication will be available in print or online.

About Oxford Business Group

Oxford Business Group (OBG) is a global publishing, research and consultancy firm, which publishes economic intelligence on the markets of the Asia, Middle East, Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean.