– SLT-MOBITEL, the leading communication and technology service provider in Sri Lanka announced a national proposal to enhance critical services and sectors, and digitally empower citizens.
SLT-MOBITEL, one of the most powerful players in the telecommunications and technology sector, cites archaic legacy systems, inefficiency, corruption, heavy operational costs and waste in critical sectors and services to be the main reason to expedite a system change in the country.
The new system change proposed by SLT-MOBITEL places digitally empowered citizens at its foundation, with digitalisation of identities and strong digital security and privacy. This will serve as the building block for new technological innovations that can strengthen Digital Commerce and E-Governance in all aspects of operations critical to the county. SLT-MOBITEL has identified healthcare, education, transportation, agriculture, tourism, judiciary and banking and finance as critical services and sectors that can thrive under this new system, more efficiently and transparently.
Elaborating on this new system change for the country, Rohan Fernando, Group Chairman, Sri Lanka Telecom said, “Much like Singapore did, Sri Lanka has the potential to transition to a Smart Nation, making innovative technology the backbone of every sphere of activity. By doing this, key issues currently facing the country can be addressed and critical sectors and services can be transformed into highly efficient, transparent, and profitable systems which in turn can transform people's lives. Our vision is to move the country towards E-Governance and Digital Commerce. We have the broadest presence across the value chain and unparalleled capacity to meet the needs of tech companies, large corporates, public and state institutions. With our capabilities and strong infrastructure across the country, we believe we are fully geared to undertake this challenge and bring about the change the people of this country want to see.”
SLT-MOBITEL which began over 160 years ago as a state-owned national communications service provider, transformed itself over the years into a highly profitable and efficient publicly listed conglomerate, offering technology and connectivity solutions, ready-to-go technology platforms, advanced network backbone services and digital infrastructure.
“The brand unification initiative of SLT-MOBITEL in 2020 brought together the best services of fixed and mobile technology. It couldn’t have come at a better time, as the same year saw a dramatic increase in the need for technology and connectivity solutions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Seeing this surge and understanding the demand of the future, we extended our fibre network to 65,000km across Sri Lanka, offering fast and accessible broadband services to boost the digital capacity in the country. The SLT Group has the largest data centres in the country, and our longstanding partnerships with global tech giants like Microsoft, Oracle and VMware mean we are fully equipped to provide the most secure hosting services for public and state institutions, as well as large corporates and foreign investors. As we continue to invest in infrastructure, our efforts are now focused on developing technological solutions for the challenges the country is facing today and will face tomorrow. SLT-MOBITEL is digitally ready for that system change we all want to see in Sri Lanka,” said Mr. Fernando.
Under this system change proposition, SLT-MOBITEL will focus on Healthcare, Education, Transportation, Agriculture, Tourism, Judiciary and Banking and Finance.
Access to healthcare is a basic need. However, the healthcare sector is facing many challenges today which inhibits citizens from accessing services and data. The proposal by SLT-MOBITEL aims to digitalise the healthcare sector and will revolutionise the industry. It offers access to real-time information, remote patient monitoring, preventative care, timely assistance, healthcare analysis, and overall better patient care with data privacy and security. Digitalising the sector will give healthcare practitioners and citizens access to information anytime, and also improve efficiency and return-on-investment for the industry.
With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and recent economic challenges, access to continued education has become another national priority. These macroeconomic factors have left children and teachers no choice but to move towards online education. However, rural areas have limited access and teachers require training in digital technology and eLearning solutions. eLearning and Smart Classrooms need to be actively promoted as the future of education.
With these factors in mind, SLT-MOBITEL has outlined the steps to digitalise Sri Lanka’s education sector. The 10,000+ schools in the country can be provided high-speed internet access through the company’s expansive fibre network, processes can be automated through the introduction of digital tools and technology, while libraries can be digitised for inclusive and continued access. Further, teachers and students will be introduced to Learning Management Systems (LMS) to build a more agile and effective education sector.
With the increasing urbanisation of the country, transportation and the congestion caused by it has a direct impact on the economy. Loss of time while travelling, excessive fuel consumption, increased wear and tear of automobiles and higher cases of road accidents all lead to a negative impact on national productivity.
SLT-MOBITEL proposes the digitalization of the country’s transportation sector. From multi-modal tour plans, online ticket reservations, tracking apps for public transportation such as buses and trains, providing onsite WiFi and enabling cashless payments, Sri Lanka’s transportation sector has tremendous potential to be more efficient and productive.
Sri Lanka’s food security has become a national priority in light of a multitude of issues faced by local famers, inhibiting their ability to meet demand. The current agriculture value-chain is affected by obstacles at each stage – irregular climate patterns and the onset of pests and diseases affect yield; price volatility, lack of accurate information on demand and supply affect farmers’ profitability; and distribution can be inefficient and disorganised leading to high-wastage.
SLT-MOBITEL is driving the digitalization of Sri Lanka’s agri value-chain with the Helaviru Digital Economic Centre, a platform that will provide farmers easy access to information and insights, as well as a trading platform for transparent transactions. The company is also accelerating digital adoption of farming communities through capacity building programmes and by introducing smart farming solutions.
Tourism is a critical sector for Sri Lanka, especially in bringing in much needed foreign exchange. However, the industry is currently struggling due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as recent global and local economic challenges. Data analytics and insights will be key in identifying Sri Lanka’s competitive advantage against other countries in the region and rebuild a thriving tourism industry.
SLT-MOBITEL is currently developing a single web portal for all potential tourists to digitally enable the country’s tourism sector. This platform will be a centralised tourism hub, providing tourists with the information they need to plan their own stays or connect them with tour operators who have pre-planned options. This platform will also provide much needed data and insights on the visiting tourists, which can be used to further develop the industry.
Justice delayed is justice denied – the main issue plaguing Sri Lanka’s judiciary at present. From the high number of court cases to the time taken to serve a verdict, the limited access to information, outdated systems needing multiple physical documents and lack of integration within the judiciary, all lead to delays in the process, making it inefficient.
SLT-MOBITEL’s proposed solution is to fully digitalise the Sri Lankan judiciary system. From establishing a digitised record keeping process, to an automated platform to set hearing dates in commercial high courts, a virtual solution for court hearings when logistics become an obstacle, and the digital integration across other entities (i.e. Police) will lead to a more efficient judiciary system in the country.
Banking & Finance
In a world where more people are working, playing, living online, a world of opportunities await Sri Lankan businesses and entrepreneurs. Connectivity speed and access is critical for this future. SLT-MOBITEL’s vision in transforming the current banking and finance sector to meet the demands of this future will see the digitalisation of this critical sector, so it is able to support cashless transactions and become a catalyst to promote e-commerce in Sri Lanka.