Dialog Axiata

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Dialog Axiata PLC
Native name
ඩයලොග් ආසියාටා පීඑල්සී டயலொக் ஆசியாடா பிஎல்சி
Public limited company
Traded asCSEDIAL.N0000
PredecessorsMTN Networks (Pvt) Ltd (1993-2005)
Dialog Telekom PLC (2005-2010)
FoundedAugust 27, 1993 (1993-08-27)
Headquarters475, Union Place, Colombo 02, Sri Lanka
Key people
  • Datuk Azzat Kamaludin
  • (Chairman / Non-Independent, Non-Executive Director)[1]
  • Mr. Supun Weerasinghe
  • (Group Chief Executive / Non-Independent, Executive Director)[1]
ProductsFixed & Mobile Telephony
Fixed & Wireless Broadband
Satellite TV
  • IncreaseUS$85.8 million (2016)[2]
  • IncreaseUS$59.9 million (2016)[2]
Total assets
  • IncreaseUS$879 million (2016)[2]
Total equity
  • IncreaseUS$358.8 million (2016)[2]
Number of employees
4,374 (2015)[3]
ParentAxiata Group Berhad (83.32%)
SubsidiariesDialog Finance PLC (80%)
Dialog Broadband Networks (Pvt) Ltd (100%)
Dialog Television (Pvt) Ltd (100%)
Digital Holdings Lanka (Pvt) Ltd (100%)
Digital Commerce Lanka (Pvt) Ltd (100%)
Dialog Business Services (Pvt) Ltd (100%)
Digital Health (Pvt) Ltd(70%)

Dialog Axiata PLC (Sinhalese: ඩයලොග් ආසියාටා පීඑල්සී Dayalog Asiyata Pielsi; Tamil:டயலொக் ஆசியாடா பிஎல்சி) (formerly known as MTN Networks and Dialog Telekom), is one of Sri Lanka's largest[4] telecommunications service provider with the country's largest mobile network operator of 13.4 million subscribers and commands a 44% of the Sri Lankan mobile market.[5][6] 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[7] As of February 2017 Dialog Axiata holds LKR 86.3 billion (US$573 million) in market capitalization[7] and the 5th largest 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.[8] In 2014 the company received the highest "Platinum" rating in the country's Corporate Accountability Index for the 4th consecutive year.[9]

Dialog 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 on 16 August 2006.[10] In April 2013 Dialog Axiata launched its mobile 4G LTE services using 10Mhz of spectrum in 1800Mhz band becoming the first operator to launch commercial FD-LTE network in South Asia,[11] initially delivering peak data rates of 50 Mbit/s.

In addition to its core business of mobile telephony, the company operates a number of services including Dialog TV, a 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[12] 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,[12] and presently has 80% market share in the region.[12]

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.[13]


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 Hans Wijayasuriya was appointed as the CEO of MTN Networks, at the age of 29 becoming the youngest CEO in a multimillion-dollar investment.[14]

Marking another regional first Dialog GSM was the first operator in Asia Pacific to deliver international roaming in 1997.[15]

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.[16]

Hans Wijayasuriya in 2012

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.[14]

In 2004 surpassing a milestone Dialog GSM was able to attain 1 million subscriber base and to commission its 500th 2G base station.[16][17]

Dialog Telekom PLC (2005-2010)[edit]

In March 2005 MTN Networks Pvt Ltd unveiled its new corporate identity as Dialog Telekom Ltd at a shindig witnessed by Mahathir Mohamad, Former Prime Minister of Malaysia, celebrating the Company's ten years of telecommunications infrastructure development in Sri Lanka.[18]

Dialog Telekom PLC Logo (2005-2010)

In 2005, Dialog Telekom launched the 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.[19] 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.[20] 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).[21][22] 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.[23]

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.[24]

Chief Executives[edit]

The following is a chronological list of people who have served as chief executive officer of Dialog Axiata PLC in its history

  • Mr. Mohammed Said Mohammed Ali (1993–1996)[25]
  • Dr. Hans Wijayasuriya (1997–2016)
  • Mr. Supun Weerasinghe (2017–Present)[26]


Dialog Mobile has island wide coverage with over 3,000 2G/3G sites and over 1,500 4G sites.[27] All towers in the network were 3G enabled to provide data services to consumers in all parts of the island, while all key urban and sub-urban areas were covered with high-speed 4G network capabilities.


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.[28] As of December 2015, there are over 650,000 Dialog Television subscribers.[29]

Fixed Line[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.[30] Both postpaid and prepaid as you go packages are available. As at end of March 2012, Dialog Broadband Networks had completed the acquisition of Suntel.[31]

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.[citation needed]


Dialog Global, the international arm of Dialog Axiata, provides international services with voice roaming coverage of 230 countries on 670 networks, 4G LTE roaming coverage of 88 countries on 210 networks including bilateral partnerships with global carriers.[32]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Board of Directors". Dialog Axiata.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Annual Report 2016" (PDF). Dialog Axiata PLC. Retrieved 9 February 2017.
  3. ^ "Sustainability Report 2015" (PDF). Dialog Axiata PLC. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
  4. ^ https://www.justlanded.com/english/Sri-Lanka/Sri-Lanka-Guide/Telephone-Internet/Mobile-phones
  5. ^ "Mobitel, Dialog welcome Hutch-Etisalat merger". theMorning.lk. 9 December 2018.
  6. ^ "Hutch Lanka completes merger with Etisalat Lanka". Telecomasia.net.
  7. ^ a b "Dialog Axiata's profile on CSE". Colombo Stock Exchange.
  8. ^ "Brand Annual". lmd.lk.
  9. ^ "Awards". Dialog Axiata.
  10. ^ "Dialog launches South Asia's first 3G service". .sundayobserver.lk.
  11. ^ "DIALOG LAUNCHES FIRST MOBILE 4G-LTE SERVICE". dailynews.lk. Retrieved 2013-04-02.
  12. ^ a b c "Sri Lanka's Telecoms Industry On The Path To Recovery". Proactive Investors. Archived from the original on 2011-07-15.
  13. ^ "Dialog to Invest US$ 120m". dailymirror.lk. Retrieved 2015-07-09.
  14. ^ a b "From Rookie to Veteran: Dr Hans Wijayasuriya clocks 10 years as dialog Chief". 5 October 2007.
  15. ^ "Dialog Telekom celebrates decade of international roaming". 23 September 2007.
  16. ^ a b "Dialog Annual Report 2005" (PDF).
  17. ^ "Dialog GSM pays tribute to one million subscribers" (PDF). 26 June 2004.
  18. ^ "MTN Networks becomes Dialog Telekom". 27 March 2005.
  19. ^ "Dialog IPO to raise CSE's market capitalization by 20%". 28 June 2005.
  20. ^ "Dialog Telekom IPO Over Subscribed 1 Hr after Opening". lankanewspapers.com. Archived from the original on 2016-03-05.
  21. ^ "Dialog Telekom acquires 100% stake in MTT Network". 17 November 2005.
  22. ^ "Dialog acquires MTT Networks". 28 December 2005.
  23. ^ "Dialog enters agreement to acquire 100 percent MTT network". 17 November 2005.
  24. ^ "Dialog buys two Sri Lankan firms - CBN SAT".
  25. ^ Database (undated). "TELEKOM MALAYSIA TO LAUNCH JV". telecompaper.com. Retrieved September 30, 2011.
  26. ^ Database (undated). "CSE Announcement". IBM. Retrieved July 2016.
  27. ^ "Annual Report 2017" (PDF). Dialog Axiata PLC. Retrieved 5 December 2018.
  28. ^ "Dialog TV launches another South Asia`s first DVB-T". LankaNewspapers.com. Archived from the original on 2008-01-28.
  29. ^ "Dialog Axiata PLC – 4Q 2015 RESULTS" (PDF). 17 February 2015.
  30. ^ "Dialog Annual Report - 2012, Page 22" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-06-12. Retrieved 2013-03-30.
  31. ^ "Dialog takes over Suntel". Sunday Times. 11 December 2011. Retrieved 16 August 2018.
  32. ^ "Dialog Annual Report - 2018, Page 32" (PDF). Retrieved 2018-12-05.

External links[edit]