IFC loan to Dialog aims to improve broadband connectivity in Sri Lanka

IFC loan to Dialog aims to improve broadband connectivity in Sri Lanka
Sri Lankan operator Dialog Axiata says it is set to expand and improve broadband connectivity across the country with International Finance Corporation (IFC) support.

 An IFC loan of up to $150 million will help Dialog expand and improve its network capacity through the upgrading of existing sites and the construction of new 4G sites. Dialog also seeks to increase its fibre optic network footprint and implement upgrades to increase both capacities and efficiencies in core network operations.

Dialog represents over 50 percent of both the mobile and fixed broadband market in the country and, says the IFC – a member of the World Bank Group and the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets – is well equipped to effectively expand quality connectivity options to underserved areas in Sri Lanka.

As the IFC points out, Sri Lanka has over 32 million mobile subscribers and 149 percent mobile penetration and ranks among the top 20 countries for broadband affordability. However, internet quality and speed has been weak, with Sri Lanka ranking 125thglobally (among 141 countries) in download speed. This significant quality gap in the market is mainly due to heavy reliance on mobile services for data usage and use of older technologies such as 3G, something this loan can help address.

The IFC will also ensure that Dialog, part of leading regional telecom service provider Axiata Group Berhad, adopts an enhanced environmental and social management system (ESMS) according to IFC Performance Standards for its mobile network deployment, in line with Dialog's aim of pursuing green connectivity, supporting global climate action goals and achieving net-zero CO2 emission by 2050.

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