Sri Lanka tops South Asia in broadband use but lags in 4G

Sri Lanka tops South Asia in household fixed broadband penetration, but lags far behind India and Pakistan in mobile 4G penetration, according to latest research by Paris-based global market research firm Dataxis.

The research estimates that there are around 12% of households in Sri Lanka that have fixed broadband installed, which is higher than the 11% of the next highest South Asian country Pakistan. However, 4G penetration in Sri Lanka is only around 2%, while in Pakistan and India, countries with much larger populations, it is 10% and 20% respectively.

Sri Lanka’s broadband speeds however have generally been impressive from a South Asian standpoint.

A report by online speed testing platform Ookla showed that the global average 4G download speed was 22.81 Mbps in July 2018, with Sri Lanka’s average download speed of 16.80 Mbps being the closest to that in South Asia. Earlier, a February 2018 report by London based OpenSignal, a company that specializes in wireless coverage mapping, also showed that 4G download speeds in Sri Lanka were the highest in South Asia at 13.95 Mbps.

The Dataxis report estimates that almost 40% of households in the 17 countries will be connected to fixed broadband by the end of 2018, but said the levels of penetration remain significantly different between mature and emerging economies.

An estimated 60% of total sims in these countries are connected to 3G or 4G, with the highest share in Taiwan where 2G networks were closed in mid 2017 and 3G is set to close by the end of 2018.

The Dataxis research covered 17 countries in Asia Pacific including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka from South Asia.