Dialog Axiata

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Dialog Axiata PLC
Native name
ඩයලොග් ආසියාටා පීඑල්සී
Public limited company
Traded as CSEDIAL.N0000
Industry Telecommunications
Predecessors Dialog Telekom PLC
MTN Networks (Pvt) Ltd
Founded August 27, 1993 (1993-08-27)
Headquarters 475, Union Place, Colombo 02,
Sri Lanka
Key people
Products Fixed & Mobile Telephony
Fixed & Wireless Broadband
Digital TV
  • IncreaseLKR 67.286 billion (2014)
  • LKR 63.297 billion (2013)[2]
  • IncreaseLKR 8.054 billion (2014)
  • LKR 7.664 billion (2013)[2]
  • IncreaseLKR 6.098 billion (2014)
  • LKR 5.201 billion (2013)[2]
Total assets
  • IncreaseLKR 112.179 billion (2014)
  • LKR 104.404 billion (2013)[2]
Total equity
  • IncreaseLKR 44.832 billion (2014)
  • LKR 39.736 billion (2013)[2]
Number of employees
4,245 (2015)[3]
Parent Axiata Group Berhad (83.32%)
Subsidiaries Dialog Broadband Networks (Pvt) Ltd (100%)
Dialog Television (Pvt) Ltd (100%)
Firstsource-Dialog Solutions (Pvt) Ltd (26%)
Dialog Holdings Lanka (Pvt) Ltd (100%)
Digital Commerce Lanka (Pvt) Ltd (45.71%)
Slogan The Future.Today
Website www.dialog.lk

Dialog Axiata PLC, DBA Dialog (formerly known as Dialog Telekom), is Sri Lanka's largest[citation needed] telecommunications service provider with the country's largest mobile network operator of over 10.312 million subscribers and commands a 50% of the Sri Lankan mobile market.[4] Dialog is a subsidiary of Axiata Group Berhad which owns 83.32% controlling stake of the company while the rest is held by the public.

Dialog was Listed on the Colombo Stock Exchange in 2005 June[5] As of August 2015 Dialog Axiata holds LKR 96.7 billion (USD 715 Million) in market capitalization[5] and the 5th larget listed company in Sri Lanka by Market Capitalization. In 2015 "Dialog" brand name was valued at LKR 28.6 billion (US$204 million) and as the 3rd most valuable brand in the country by business magazine LMD in its annual study.[6]

In 2010 the company received the highest "Platinum" rating in the country's Corporate Accountability Index.[7] The company operates on 2.5G, 3G, 3.5G and 4G LTE communications networks, and became the first operator to launch commercial 3G and HSPA+ operations in South Asia when it rollout the network in 16 August 2006.[8] In April 2013 Dialog Axiata launched its mobile 4G LTE services using 10Mhz of spectrum in 1800Mhz band (LTE Band 03) becoming the first operator to launch commercial FD-LTE network in South Asia[9] initially delivering peak data rates of 50Mbit/s thus marking its position as technology leadership among its regional peers.

In addition to its core business of mobile telephony, the company operates a portfolio of services including Dialog TV, the country's Direct To Home Satellite TV service and Dialog Global which provides international telecommunication services. Dialog Broadband offers fixed-line and broadband internet services, whilst Dialog Tele-Infrastructure is the company’s national telco infrastructure arm.

Dialog was the first mobile operator to cover the Jaffna peninsula in Northern Sri Lanka within 90 days of the ceasefire agreement in 2002[10] and again in 2009 was the first mobile operator to extend its GSM network to the areas in the North and East Province where the war was fought,[10] and presently has 80% market share in the region.[10]

Dialog Axiata is an investor under the aegis of the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka and has invested over US $1.96 billion towards the development of telecommunications infrastructure, thus becoming the single largest contributor to Sri Lankan foreign direct investment (FDI) to date.[11] Dialog is also the official Sri Lankan partner of the mobile operator Vodafone.[12]


MTN Networks Pvt Ltd (1993-2005)[edit]

Dialog was incorporated in 1993 as MTN Networks Private Limited with 90% of equity through Telekom Malaysia Berhad (TM) and 10% by Capital Maharaja being the local promoters to the investment. Telekom Malaysia (TM) is Majority owned by the Government of Malaysia, and is the incumbent and dominant fixed line telecom operator in Malaysia. At the time of setup, MTN was the 4th entry to the Sri Lankan Mobile market which already had 3 established operators.

In 1995 just after 2 years of incorporation MTN Networks began its commercial operations under the brand name Dialog GSM by rolling out the first digital network in South Asia using GSM technology hence offering a superior service compared to analogue networks at the time.

DialogGSM Logo (1995-2005)
DialogGSM Logo (1995-2005)

In 1996, the local promoters divested their stake providing complete ownership of MTN Networks to Telekom Malaysia. In mid-1997 Dr.Hans Wijayasuriya was appointed as the CEO of MTN Networks, at the age of 29 becoming the youngest CEO in a multimillion-dollar investment.[13]

Marking another regional first Dialog GSM was the first operator in Asia Pacific to deliver international roaming in 1997.[14]

MTN Networks was able to record its first operational profit for the financial year of 1998 when Dialog GSM had a subscriber base close to 75,000. Beginning of the new millennium brought fortunes for Dialog as in the year 2000 it was able to attain the market leader position in the mobile market surpassing the incumbent operators.[15]

Dr.Hans Wijayasuriya in 2012

Committed to delivering a world class quality service to its subscribers MTN obtained ISO 9002 certification in 1998 and ISO 9001 in 2001. The company has the distinction on both occasions, of being the first telecommunications operator in South Asia to obtain certification at 9002 and 9001 levels respectively.[13][16]

Year 2001 saw the launch of Dialog Internet thus starting ISP operations by launching GPRS and MMS services based on existing 2G infrastructure and becoming the first GPRS and MMS operator in South Asia.[13]

In 2002 MTN Networks announced the launch of satellite mobile telephony services under the brand DialogSAT the newest pioneering extension to its state-of-the-art service portfolio. DialogSAT with a groundbreaking partnership with Thuraya satellite mobile telephony services enables GSM roaming where compatible satellite handset can use the Thuraya services where Dialog GSM service is not available which includes territorial waters and 99 countries across 3 continents (Europe, North Africa, Middle East and Central Asia).[17]

In 2004 surpassing a milestone Dialog GSM was able to attain 1 million subscriber base and to commission its 500th 2G base station.[15][18] In celebration Dialog GSM removed incoming call charges within the network thus increasing the affordability and encouraging mobile telephony.

Dialog Telekom PLC (2005-2010)[edit]

On March 2005 MTN Networks Pvt Ltd unveiled its new corporate identity as Dialog Telekom Ltd at a landmark event witnessed by Dr.Mahathir Mohamad, Former Prime Minister of Malaysia, celebrating the Company's ten years of telecommunications infrastructure development in Sri Lanka.[19]

Dialog Telekom PLC Logo (2005-2010)

2005 was a monumental year for Dialog Telekom as planned to go ahead with largest IPO seen by the Sri Lankan capital markets in an attempt to finance expanding network. The Dialog Telekom initial offer, which was launched on a book building structure at a price range of LKR 8 to LKR 12 per share, consists of 712.3 million ordinary shares, which is 9.6% stake of the company.[20] Offer was oversubscribed 3 times within an hour of opening and Dialog Telekom was able to raise LKR 8.55 Billion (US$77 million) in fresh capital making this the largest IPO to date in the country.[21] Dialog Telekom made history on the first trading day when trading commenced at a price of LKR 14.25 making Dialog Telekom the first Sri Lankan Company to reach the US$1 billion market capitalization mark.

In 2005 December Dialog Telekom Acquired 100% stake of MTT Network Pvt Ltd for LKR 1.86 Billion (US$19.2 million).[22][23] At the time of Acquisition MTT was the leading digital transmission and backbone provider for other Cellular operators and television stations. Other than that MTT also operated CDMA telephony services and external gateway operations. Pursuant to the Acquisition MTT was renamed Dialog Broadband Networks Pvt Ltd (DBN) which as a fully owned subsidiary of Dialog Telekom and continued providing service to MTT clientele and also expanded on CDMA operations.[24]

In 2006 December Dialog Telekom completed takeover of troubled DTH satellite television provider CBN SAT (Private) Ltd for LKR 523.8 million (US$4.6 million) marking dialog's entry into the television segment thus positioning itself as a quadruple play service provider. CBNsat was re branded as DialogTV and operates as a fully owned subsidiary of Dialog Telekom.[25]


Dialog Mobile has island wide GSM coverage with over 3000 2.5G Sites,[3] except National Parks and Forests. In addition Dialog offers 3G and 3.5G coverage in Sri Lanka with over 1200 3G sites which support video calls, mobile TV and broadband internet. In addition, Recently Dialog Launched 4G LTE Network becoming the first operator in South Asia of Frequency-Division Long Term Evolution (FD-LTE) services.[9] Its 4G network has demonstrated the delivery of over 100 Mbit/s in indoor demonstration mode and 40 – 50Mbit/s under outdoor mobile conditions.

Television (DTV)[edit]

Main article: Dialog TV

Dialog Television is a Direct To Home (DTH) satellite television service operated by Dialog. Dialog Television channels focus on news, entertainment and knowledge based programming. It provides international content including CNN, BBC, HBO, Cinemax, AXN, Star Sports, Discovery Channel, MTV and Cartoon Network, in addition to a portfolio of Sri Lankan television channels. Dialog Satellite TV uses Digital Video Broadcasting through Satellite DVB-S technology. DTV is the only pay TV operator in Sri Lanka to have island-wide coverage and was the first to introduce DVB-T (terrestrial) technology in Sri Lanka.[26] As of May 2015, there are over 500,000 Dialog Television subscribers.[27]

Fixed Line (DBN)[edit]

As of December 2012, there are 527,000 CDMA subscribers using Dialog Fixed Line and it is the 2nd largest fixed telephone operator in Sri Lanka.[28] Both postpaid and prepaid as you go packages are available. As at end March 2012 Dialog Broadband Networks had completed the acquisition of Suntel.

Fixed Broadband[edit]

Dialog provides WiMAX and 4G LTE (TD-LTE) fixed broadband services. Sri Lanka's first Fixed 4G LTE Broadband operator is Dialog.


Dialog Global, the international arm of Dialog Axiata, provides international services with GSM roaming coverage of 225 countries on 617 networks, 4G LTE roaming coverage of 34 countries on 50 networks, 3G roaming coverage of 146 destinations and GPRS roaming coverage of 188 destinations including bilateral partnerships with global carriers.[29]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Board of Directors". Dialog Axiata. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Annual Report 2014" (PDF). Dialog Axiata PLC. Retrieved 16 May 2015. 
  3. ^ a b "2014 Sustainability Report" (PDF). Dialog Axiata PLC. Retrieved 15 August 2015. 
  4. ^ "Dialog Axiata PLC – 3Q 2015 RESULTS" (PDF). Dialog Axiata PLC. 11 November 2015. 
  5. ^ a b "Dialog Axiata's profile on CSE". Colombo Stock Exchange. 
  6. ^ "Brand Annual". lmd.lk. 
  7. ^ "Awards". Dialog Axiata. 
  8. ^ "Dialog launches South Asia's first 3G service". .sundayobserver.lk. 
  9. ^ a b "DIALOG LAUNCHES FIRST MOBILE 4G-LTE SERVICE". dailynews.lk. Retrieved 2013-04-02. 
  10. ^ a b c "Sri Lanka’s Telecoms Industry On The Path To Recovery". Proactive Investors. 
  11. ^ "Dialog to Invest US$ 120m". dailymirror.lk. Retrieved 2015-07-09. 
  12. ^ "Partner markets". Vodafone. 
  13. ^ a b c "From Rookie to Veteran: Dr Hans Wijayasuriya clocks 10 years as dialog Chief". 5 October 2007. 
  14. ^ "Dialog Telekom celebrates decade of international roaming". 23 September 2007. 
  15. ^ a b "Dialog Annual Report 2005" (PDF). 
  16. ^ "Dialog receives ISO 9001 certification". 
  17. ^ "Satellite mobile telephony services launched". 19 March 2002. 
  18. ^ "Dialog GSM pays tribute to one million subscribers" (PDF). 26 June 2004. 
  19. ^ "MTN Networks becomes Dialog Telekom". 27 March 2005. 
  20. ^ "Dialog IPO to raise CSE’s market capitalization by 20%". 28 June 2005. 
  21. ^ "Dialog Telekom IPO Over Subscribed 1 Hr after Opening". lankanewspapers.com. 
  22. ^ "Dialog Telekom acquires 100% stake in MTT Network". 17 November 2005. 
  23. ^ "Dialog acquires MTT Networks". 28 December 2005. 
  24. ^ "Dialog enters agreement to acquire 100 percent MTT network". 17 November 2005. 
  25. ^ "Dialog buys two Sri Lankan firms - CBN SAT". 
  26. ^ "Dialog TV launches another South Asia`s first DVB-T". LankaNewspapers.com. 
  27. ^ "Dialog Axiata PLC – 3Q 2014 RESULTS" (PDF). 5 November 2014. 
  28. ^ "Dialog Annual Report - 2012, Page 22" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-03-30. 
  29. ^ "Dialog Annual Report - 2014, Page 32" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-05-16. 

External links[edit]