Dialog Axiata

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Dialog lalala PLC
Native name
ඩයලොග් ආසියාටා පීඑල්සී
Public limited company
Traded as CSEDIAL.N0000
Industry Telecommunications
Predecessors MTN Networks (Pvt) Ltd (1993-2005)
Dialog Telekom PLC (2005-2010)
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
  • IncreaseUS$540.188 million (2015)[2]
  • IncreaseUS$65.922 million (2015)[2]
  • DecreaseUS$36.008 million (2015)[2]
Total assets
  • DecreaseUS$811.130 million (2015)[2]
Total equity
  • DecreaseUS$328.453 million (2015)[2]
Number of employees
4,374 (2015)[3]
Parent Axiata Group Berhad (83.32%)
Subsidiaries Dialog Broadband Networks (Pvt) Ltd (100%)
Dialog Television (Pvt) Ltd (100%)
Dialog Holdings Lanka (Pvt) Ltd (100%)
Digital Commerce Lanka (Pvt) Ltd (100%)
Digital Health (Pvt) Ltd (70%)
Firstsource-Dialog Solutions (Pvt) Ltd (26%)
Website www.dialog.lk

Dialog Axiata PLC (Sinhalese: ඩයලොග් ආසියාටා පීඑල්සී Dayalog Aasiyata Pee-El-See) (formerly known as MTN Networks and Dialog Telekom), is Sri Lanka's largest[citation needed] telecommunications service provider with the country's largest mobile network operator of over 11.068 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 February 2016 Dialog Axiata holds LKR 81.4 billion (US$566 million) in market capitalization[5] 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.[6] In 2014 the company received the highest "Platinum" rating in the country's Corporate Accountability Index for the 4th consecutive year.[7]

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.[8] 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[9] initially delivering peak data rates of 50 Mbps thus marking its position as a technology leader among its regional peers.

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[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 Hans Wijayasuriya was appointed as the CEO of MTN Networks, at the age of 29 becoming the youngest CEO in a multi-million 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]

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.[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).[16]

In 2004 surpassing a milestone Dialog GSM was able to attain 1 million subscriber base and to commission its 500th 2G base station.[15][17] 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]

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)

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.[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]


Dialog Mobile has island wide GSM coverage with over 4300 2.5G Sites,[25] except National Parks and Forests. Dialog offers 3G and 3.5G coverage in Sri Lanka with over 3000 3G sites which support video calls, mobile TV and broadband internet. In addition, recently,[when?] 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.[citation needed]


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 December 2015, there are over 650,000 Dialog Television subscribers.[27]

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.[28] 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.[citation needed]

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 GSM roaming coverage of 229 countries on 641 networks, 4G LTE roaming coverage of 55 countries on 101 networks, 3G roaming coverage of 166 destinations and GPRS roaming coverage of 201 destinations including bilateral partnerships with global carriers.[29]


Alleged blocking of a political program[edit]

In December 2014, Dialog TV was alleged of blocking a political discussion featuring the opposition candidate of the 2015 presidential election, Maithripala Sirisena. Mr. Sirisena eventually became the president of the country.[30]

Alleged obstruction of justice[edit]

In December 2015, Dialog Axiata and its Chief Executive Hans Wijayasuriya came under public scrutiny for allegedly withholding evidence in investigations that were being carried out by the Sri Lanka Police and Criminal Investigation Department (CID) into the murders of several public figures, including Wasim Thajudeen.[31][32][33][34]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Board of Directors". Dialog Axiata. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Annual Report 2015" (PDF). Dialog Axiata PLC. Retrieved 15 April 2016. 
  3. ^ "Sustainability Report 2015" (PDF). Dialog Axiata PLC. Retrieved 24 May 2016. 
  4. ^ "Dialog Axiata PLC – 2Q 2016 RESULTS" (PDF). Dialog Axiata PLC. 16 August 2016. 
  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. ^ "Vodafone partner markets". Vodafone. Retrieved 2016-03-11. 
  13. ^ a b "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. ^ "Satellite mobile telephony services launched". 19 March 2002. 
  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. 
  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. ^ "Annual Report 2015" (PDF). Dialog Axiata PLC. Retrieved 15 April 2016. 
  26. ^ "Dialog TV launches another South Asia`s first DVB-T". LankaNewspapers.com. 
  27. ^ "Dialog Axiata PLC – 4Q 2015 RESULTS" (PDF). 17 February 2015. 
  28. ^ "Dialog Annual Report - 2012, Page 22" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-03-30. 
  29. ^ "Dialog Annual Report - 2015, Page 31" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-04-15. 
  30. ^ "DIALOG & PEO TV block Sirasa channels?". 
  31. ^ "Mobile Service Provider Accused Of Blocking Key Probes". 
  32. ^ "Thajudeen's phone records could not be retrieved". 
  33. ^ "Wasim Thajudeen Death: Dialog Unable To Submit Telephone Records". 
  34. ^ "Unidentified Group Meets Thajudeen's Uncle". 

External links[edit]