Sri Lanka-based Dialog Axiata deployed 515 towers since Covid-19 (coronavirus) restrictions were imposed in March 2020, increasing its total LTE site count to 4,000, with the goal to add another 450 sites by the end of the year to take 4G population coverage to 95 per cent.

The operator detailed a focus on expanding coverage to rural communities and installing lamp post sites to quickly add capacity in dense areas. It also upgraded the capacity of 2,800 4G towers.

CTO Pradeep De Almeida said it invested LKR50.9 billion ($255.8 million) since March 2020 to enhance connectivity across the nation in response to “the surge in demand for connectivity and to support our customers during these unprecedented times”.

Mobile data traffic more than doubled between early 2020 and June 2021.

Dialog doubled its 4G spectrum holdings by acquiring 40MHz in the 2,600MHz band and re-allocating 13MHz previously used for 2G and 3G.

The company is the country’s largest non-domestic direct investor and earmarked $207 million for network capex in 2021.