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Mobitel’s 5G (r)evolution is real


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The first 5G smartphone connected to the Mobitel 5G network for the first time in South Asia being displayed by Huawei Lanka Chief Executive Officer Shunli Wang, Mobitel Chief Executive Officer Nalin Perera and Sri Lanka Telecom and Mobitel Chairman P. G. Kumarasinghe Sirisena

The first 5G smartphone connected to the Mobitel 5G network for the first time in South Asia by Mobitel and Huawei Lanka teams

Mobitel Ltd., the national mobile service provider in Sri Lanka, successfully showcased South Asia’s first 5G deployment over a mobile network on Friday 5 April.

Mobitel’s successful implementation of 5G was hot on the heels of the 5G deployments in the U.S.A (2 April) and South Korea (4 April), connecting a commercial mobile smartphone to its 5G network. The pioneering activity to bring 5G with mobility as opposed to fixed devices was lauded by the Sri Lankan ICT community as it builds on the ubiquitous mobile phone and smartphones which has empowered a generation of Sri Lankans to lead Sri Lanka towards an InfoComm and knowledge-rich society.

The first 5G smartphone connected to the Mobitel 5G network for the first time in South Asia



Mobitel correctly identified enhanced mobile broadband, massive internet-of-things and mission critical services as the primary pillars of the 5G revolution way back in 2016. Thus, Mobitel has been strategic and focused in its 5G journey and first demonstrated its 5G leadership in 2017 with the demonstration of massive IoT in 2017, this was followed by mission critical services in 2018. With Friday’s pilot deployment of enhanced mobile broadband (mobility), Mobitel’s 5G revolution in South Asia is unparalleled and its strategic approach is now being proven to be correct and is on course for benefiting Sri Lanka.  

SLT Group Chairman P. G.  Kumarasinghe Sirisena speaking at the launch of Mobitel’s all-encompassing 5G showcase said: “My greatest joy and pride has been that Sri Lanka through Mobitel has positioned itself as Global leader technology. I am particularly grateful to the TRCSL, the telecommunications regulatory body in Sri Lanka, for enabling Sri Lanka’s technology experts to showcase the country’s technology leadership and ability on an international level bringing great reputation to the country through trials and pilot deployments which are the first steps in a commercial roll-out. This is proving to stimulate the country’s economic advancement which is a great achievement.”

Mobitel CEO, Nalin Perera led the way by saying: “The technology on show by Mobitel is cutting-edge, but our people are incredible! Mobitel, has shown today that we can lead in technology but more importantly we have shown that our people cannot be kept down and have shown what great success can be achieved through teamwork. Mobitel being recognised on an International stage is no mean feat, and we will celebrate as Sri Lankans first as we begin to enjoy this 5G revolution by Mobitel.”

The 5G revolution at Mobitel was certainly a heady mix of technology and human expertise. Mobitel, Senior General Manager – Engineering and Operations Rasantha Hettithanthrige was euphoric when he said: “We’ve had technology advancements in the past, but this one was particularly special. Bringing Mobility to 5G is truly ground breaking at this moment of time. Getting high-speeds is easy, but giving it wirelessly and with Mobility is truly phenomenal! While I am excited at the technology, I am particularly proud of how we stuck to our plan in ensuring the three pillars of massive IoT, mission critical services and now finally enhanced mobile broadband have come together to give people a realistic taste of what 5G offers.”

Indeed, Mobitel certainly has a rich history of not providing technology for technology’s sake but providing technology at the right time for empowering Sri Lankans and leading Sri Lanka on its digital journey. Mobitel’s 5G revolution is another step in this exciting journey.


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