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Dialog Secures Up to $150 Million IFC Loan to Expand Broadband Network Capacity

From left to right: Trinesh Fernando, Group General Counsel/Vice President – Group Legal and Regulatory, Dialog Axiata PLC, Wong Hong Zhou, Group Chief Financial Officer, Dialog Axiata PLC, Victor Antonypillai, Country Officer, IFC Sri Lanka and Maldives, Supun Weerasinghe, Group Director/General Manager, Dialog Axiata PLC, David Nai Pek Lau, Chairman, Dialog Axiata PLC, and Ahmed Riza, Head – Corporate Finance, Dialog Axiata PLC

Dialog Axiata PLC (Dialog) set to expand and improve broadband connectivity across the country with International Finance Corporation

IFC’s loan of up to $150 million will help Dialog expand and improve its network capacity by upgrading existing sites and building new 4G sites.

Dialog is also looking to increase the footprint of its fiber optic network and implement upgrades to increase both the capabilities and efficiency of core network operations.

As the leading telecommunications service provider in Sri Lanka, Dialog accounts for over 50% of the mobile and fixed broadband market in the country and is well equipped to effectively extend quality connectivity options to underserved areas of Sri Lanka. . With over 32 million mobile subscribers, Sri Lanka has made substantial progress in terms of mobile service penetration, with 149% mobile penetration compared to an average of 85% for its South Asian peers. While Sri Lanka ranks in the top 20 countries for broadband affordability, internet quality and speed have been poor, with Sri Lanka ranking 125th in the world (out of 141 countries) in terms of speed download. This large quality gap in the market is mainly due to a heavy reliance on mobile services for data usage and the use of older technologies such as 3G. “A reliable and quality telecommunications infrastructure has a multiplier effect on a country’s economic growth. It offers the opportunity to unlock innovative new sources of growth and jobs, boosting the digital economy, trade and entrepreneurship, while bringing communities together,” said Hector Gomez Ang, IFC Regional Director for ‘South Asia. Speaking on the occasion, David Nai Pek Lau, President of Dialog Axiata PLC, said: “It is heartening to note the continued collaboration between IFC, Axiata and Dialog. We are grateful to IFC for its confidence in Dialog and Sri Lanka over the years, and for its unwavering support in helping us overcome some of the greatest challenges we currently face on our journey to advance the connectivity infrastructure of the country in line with our mission of empowering and enriching Sri Lankan lives and businesses. Axiata Group has been a key partner for IFC in Asia, including Bangladesh, promoting the development of digital infrastructure and the digital economy in the markets where it operates. Commenting, Supun Weerasinghe, Group Managing Director, Dialog Axiata PLC, said: “Dialog’s association with IFC dates back to 2004, and we are grateful for their continued trust in Dialog and Sri Lanka as that nation.

Today we stand at a crucial moment as a country, as well as an organization. With the support of IFC and Axiata, we are able to initiate this next phase of connectivity infrastructure development in the country and continue our commitment to providing uninterrupted services and world-class technology to all. Sri Lankans and businesses.

IFC will also ensure that Dialog adopts an enhanced Environmental and Social Management System (ESMS) in line with IFC Performance Standards for its mobile network deployment, in line with Dialog’s efforts to pursue green connectivity, support global climate action goals and achieve net zero CO2 emissions. by 2050.
“The need to boost connectivity and accelerate growth is more critical than ever for Sri Lanka. With this latest investment, the IFC-Dialog Axiata synergy marks another significant milestone in the partnership to improve the quality of connectivity for people and businesses across the country,” said Isabel Chatterton, IFC Regional Industrial Director. for infrastructure in Asia and the Pacific.