Sri Lanka to Amend Telecom Laws Allowing Independent Companies to Build Towers

A modern cityscape in Sri Lanka showing multiple telecom towers being constructed, with a clear sky and lush greenery in the background. The scene show

The Sri Lankan government is set to amend the country’s telecommunications laws to permit independent companies to construct telecom towers. Currently, the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission Act restricts tower construction to licensed telecom operators.

According to EconomyNext, State Technology Minister Kanaka Herath announced that the government has proposed amendments to open the tower business to third parties. This move aims to accelerate tower rollouts to meet government targets.

The Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL) plans to build 276 towers to enhance mobile broadband connectivity and support 5G rollout, crucial for the government’s vision of expanding the digital economy to $15 billion by 2030. However, the economic crisis has led to budget cuts for tower construction, resulting in only 50 towers being built in 2023, with 150 more planned for this year.

Herath emphasized that allowing third parties to build towers will expedite development. The amendments are expected to be debated in parliament within two months.

If approved, the amendments could attract regional and global tower companies, such as Axiata Group’s Edotco, which has been active in Sri Lanka since 2015, installing passive infrastructure and partnering with local telcos for Open RAN and standalone 5G trials.

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