Sri Lankan national mobile service provider Mobitel has revealed plans to invest $50 million this year to deploy a 5G network and upgrade its network infrastructure.
The operator, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sri Lanka Telecom, has commenced 5G trials ahead of a planned rollout, Sri Lanka's Daily News Businessreported.
While Sri Lanka was the first country in South Asia to introduce 3G and 3.5G technology, Mobitel does not expect it to be the first to introduce 5G, the report states.
Meanwhile Mobitel has been investing heavily to upgrade its 3G network to 4G, having spent around $100 million to convert around 100 3G base stations. The operator plans to continue the 4G upgrade, with plans to soon switch off its 3G network.
Mobitel has now invested around $600 million over its 25 year history. But despite heavy investments and foreign exchange losses, the company managed to increase its revenue by around 10% last year.
Mobitel is the second largest mobile operator in Sri Lanka after Dialog Axiata, with around 22.6% market share.