Sri Lankan mobile network operator (MNO) Mobitel, a unit of Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT), has secured the financing facilities of Citibank to help its latest 4.5G/4G+ LTE expansion drive across the country. The investment – its ‘largest investment in network infrastructure’ to date – is designed to help consolidate the MNO’s position as a leading provider of high speed mobile internet services in Sri Lanka. Mobitel claims to have been the first operator to deploy the technology in South Asia, and says the network expansion will also include upgrades to ensure the country stays in the vanguard ‘by offering wider coverage of 4.5G/4G+ and NB-IoT services to its customers, and modernising its network with NFV/SDN technologies and a host of other next generation platforms to make it more agile’, all of which are expected to pave the way for the easy adoption of 5G in the near future.
Commenting on the deal, Mobitel chief executive officer Nalin Perera said: ‘Mobitel is committed to investing in network expansions, bringing the latest in mobile technology to Sri Lanka on par with global standards. 4.5G will act as a bridge for the eventual adoption of the 5G standard, while bringing significant improvements to Mobitel’s existing 4G network by allowing it to handle more data-intensive applications such as HD voice with MP3 level quality, Ultra HD Entertainment, Ultra Dense Sensor Networks, AR/VR based Advanced Gaming LTE-based broadband trunking systems (LiTRA) etc. Our expansion is ongoing and will further improve speeds and end user experience. We are maintaining our leadership by executing some of the fastest expansions and will continue to do so in order to maintain our market position.’