Fitch Ratings yesterday said the roll-out of fifth generation (5G) mobile network in Sri Lanka is likely to be delayed beyond 2022.
The first generation of mobile technology powered the brick-sized mobile phones since mid-1980s for a decade and half and then from 2012 onwards, digital devices, including smartphones and tablets, powered by 3G and 4G wireless technology, started to flood the market.
However, 5G is poised to magically transform all aspects of modern life, digitalising many areas of it, including work, entertainment, online gaming, etc.
At its peak, 5G could accelerate the current broadband speeds at least by 200 times, which is fast enough to download a movie or similar-sized file in a few seconds.
However, according to Fitch, Sri Lankans are likely to experience 5G only after 2022. The rating agency however didn’t offer reasons for the delay.
“We expect 5G network roll-out to be delayed in Sri Lanka to beyond 2022,” Fitch said in a rating report on Sri Lanka Telecom PLC, affirming the firm at AA-, with a ‘Stable’ outlook.
Sri Lanka’s digital footprint in almost all walks of life accelerated in leaps and bounds during 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Almost every economic activity, which doesn’t require human presence, such as certain office-based work, banking, shopping, education, etc. shifted to online, which is referred to as the ‘new normal’. What 5G could do is to make all these activities smoother, due to its low latency or the time that it takes for the data to travel from point A to point B, which will, for instance, lead to smoother videoconferencing.