Portable Numbers

July 29, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lanka is ready for mobile number portability, where the subscribers who switch telecom operators can take their personal number with them to the new provider, but the rule should also apply to fixed networks, an industry official said. But Sri Lanka’s fixed access sector is stagnant or shrinking.

In the first quarter of 2010 all fixed subscribers in Sri Lanka grew by 114,000 to 3.46 million, while wireline users slipped. But mobile users grew by 3.5 million to 15.04 million in the first quarter of 2010 from a year earlier.

At Dialog’s fixed access unit subscribers had increased 3.0 percent from a year earlier to 182,000 but usage revenues had dropped 10 percent.

“CDMA is not a growth business,” Wijayasuriya said. “Growth prospects of revenues are not great.”

But broadband usage is growing. Dialog said broadband revenues grew 26 percent fuelled by a 17 growth in fixed broadband from a year earlier.

“Sri Lanka is ready (for number portability),” Hans Wijayasuriya, who heads Dialog Axiata, the island’s largest mobile operator and is also the chief operating officer of its parent, Axiata, said at the LBR-LBO CEO forum, in Colombo.

“It should have been done about a year ago.”

When phone numbers are spe