Mobile network operator (MNO) Dialog Axiata has announced (24 November) that more than 200,000 Sri Lankans have already joined its 5G trial network. In the release, the MNO noted that its 5G signal offers the widest coverage on the island and is available in over 70 locations, including the capital Colombo and other major cities.

TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database reports that in June 2019 Dialog completed live trials of 5G technology, achieving download speeds of more than 1.4Gbps on a mobile handset, and confirmed it had upgraded 20% of its existing base stations to ‘5G Ready Status’ by that date – deploying Massive MIMO on a limited basis soon after. Then, in March 2022 the company trialled a 5G Standalone (SA) network, claiming a first in the South Asian region. Having demonstrated the capabilities of the technology back in 2018, the MNO moved to the trial phase and claimed that the deployment of 5G SA would ‘open up innumerable next-generation opportunities for enterprises and bring forth the 4th industrial revolution (4IR) that will catalyse ground-breaking innovations’. Its Annual Report 2022 highlighted that the cellco had conducted 5G trials of 200MHz each in the 3.5GHz band and 400MHz in the 27GHz band for mmWave adding that its aim is ‘to expand our 5G footprint when TRCSL allocates 5G spectrum for commercial use’. It also went on to complete Voice-over-New Radio (VoNR) trials on the 5G SA network in October 2023.

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