“SLT is in the best position to take advantage of our geographical position, tectonic plate stability, low latency connectivity, and global Gigabit speeds through the SEA-ME-WE submarine optical fibre cable system.”
One hundred years after the establishment of the first telephone link in Sri Lanka in 1880, “The Economist” in one of their cover page articles predicted the arrival of the “Era of Zero Tariff Telecommunications”.
At that time, transport of today’s volumes of data across networks was not envisaged, and what was meant by the statement was in relation to voice. As predicted, voice tariff is all but free while the debate is on data. It is clear that data tariff too would head the same way as voice, in less than half the time it took for voice. The success of the SLT Group thus hinges on how best it is ready to meet the era of zero data tariff telecommunications.
Having taken the national responsibility bestowed on us to invest diligently in infrastructure for the digital transformation, we now must confront extensive changes in markets, technologies, consumer demands, and value chains. With new market players, mergers, massive infrastructure investment requirements, and shrinking traditional revenue bases, the success of SLT in retaining the leading role in the digital era will decide the fate of our 160+ year old organisation and its loyal staff.
SLT’s greatest strength vis a vis our competitors is the inherent love our staff have towards the company that no competitor can match. Staff and the unions have historically been the defenders of SLT. Leveraging these as a win-win will help to retain its competitiveness.
The range of services from digital banking and smart farming to judicial system automation and online education platforms will transform the economy of the country by enabling entrepreneurship and spreading economic activity across the country. It is the effective carriage of these digital value-added services that will be our revenue stream of the future. And as Sri Lanka moves to a more digitised society, this transformation will be faster than ever before. Here, we are moving ahead to meet the delivery of valued-added services to the people of Sri Lanka with an aggressive broadband fibre-to-the-enterprise and home rollout that no competitor can match. Further, to fill the rural gaps and not leave the furthest people behind, we are investing in wireless 4G broadband with a wide enough radio spectrum to give the best user experience.
As the global economic centre shifts from the West to the East, Sri Lanka is right in the middle between Africa and East Asia. Here, having foreseen the future, SLT is in the best position to take advantage of our geographical position, tectonic plate stability, low latency connectivity, and global Gigabit speeds through the SEA-ME-WE submarine optical fibre cable system. This coupled with SLT’s investment in Tier III Data Centres and the Cloud allows us to provide the range of advanced IT services required by the smallest to the largest enterprise and go global to support multinational enterprises.
SLT will leverage the synergies between its subsidiary companies to not only actualise development and market opportunities within the Group, but as the national ICT solutions provider, to also seize opportunities that will place Sri Lanka on the global stage. The investments in technology, infrastructure, and people we have made thus far have already laid the groundwork to establish SLT as key global communications player in the years to come. This will continue to open up growth opportunities for the country and its people, and the SLT Group will continue to be the engine that drives the nation’s growth. I look forward to working with all our subsidiaries to turn our vision into a reality.
“SLT will leverage the synergies between its subsidiary companies to not only actualise development and market opportunities within the Group, but as the national ICT solutions provider, to also seize opportunities that will place Sri Lanka on the global stage.”
Group Chief Executive Officer
3 June 2020