Sri Lanka’s top two mobile operators — Dialog Axiata and Mobitel – announced they have conducted trials on LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) Pro networks that are capable of achieving peak download speeds of 1Gb/s.

Mobitel, a subsidiary of state-owned Sri Lanka Telecom, claimed to be the first in South Asia to trial the so-called 4.5G technology, but market leader Dialog announced about the same time it demoed LTE-A Pro on its mobile infrastructure, supported by Huawei, and delivered throughputs in excess of 1Gb/s on the LTE radio interface.

Mobitel partnered with Huawei and ZTE to run the LTE-A Pro tests in its test lab. The network trials used a combination of five-carrier aggregation, 4×4 MIMO and 256 QAM. After completing the test, the operator said it is looking forward to commercially deploying the service but didn’t give a timeframe.

Sri Lanka is one of just 20 countries where 4.5G capabilities have been demonstrated, Huawei said in a statement.

Axiata has 10.6 million mobile connections, giving it a 42 per cent market share, while Mobitel has 5.6 million for a 22 per cent share, according to GSMA Intelligence. Axiata had about 600,000 4G users at the end of Q1 and Mobitel had just over 200,000.