Sri Lankan cellco Dialog Axiata has launched a pilot of 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) mobile broadband network technology in the Colombo Fort, Colombo 2 and Colombo 3 districts of the capital, and has demonstrated data speeds of 40Mbps-50Mbps (download) outdoors under ‘actual’ mobile network conditions, as well as downloads of up to 100Mbps in a static indoor demonstration. The Malaysian-backed operator built the pilot LTE network in partnership with China’s Huawei Technologies, and says it will conduct ‘extensive’ 4G trials while continuing to expand its commercial 3.5G HSPA+ services across all provinces of Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka Telecom’s mobile division Mobitel also announced that it has carried out a successful trial of LTE technology, achieving mobile data speeds of up to 96Mbps (downstream) and 49Mbps (uplink). Earlier this month Mobitel signed an agreement with the country’s Board of Investment for equipment import duty exemption on its LTE network deployment in partnership with another Chinese vendor, ZTE. Sri Lankan cellcos – including Middle Eastern-backed Etisalat, which recently announced the completion of an ‘LTE-ready’ converged IP network – are awaiting the issuing of suitable frequencies for the commercial provision of LTE services.