Tele Growth

Apr 20, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s telephone density rose to 100.8 lines per 100 persons in 2010 showing that fixed and mobile connections had overtaken the population, in a telling demonstration of the results of ending a state monopoly. Telephone density rose from 86.6 in 2009 in a country with a population of 20.6 million, according to data published by Sri Lanka’s central bank.

Two decades ago in 1990 Sri Lanka’s teledensity was one line per 100 persons.

Mobile phone users grew 20.9 percent in 2010 to 17.2 million while fixed access wireline which has slumped in 2009 recovered to grow 2.9 percent to 897,000.

Industry analysts say owners of more than one mobile subscriber identity module (SIM) is growing.

Wireless fixed access phones grew 4.3 percent to 2,674,000.

Sri Lanka’s telekom market was a state monopoly until the mid 1990s when a privatization and liberalization drive was launched. Sri Lanka Telekom, a state fixed wireless operator was sold to Japan’s NTT and two wireless operators were licensed.

At the same time arbitrary pricing was replaced by a regulated tariff re-balancing plan where local calls were raised progressively to allow the fixed operator to deal with lower termination revenue in