Sri Lanka country code: +94
International access code: +00
Mobile coverage across Sri Lanka is good in built-up areas and cheap. You can get a SIM card that has data and voice credit for as low as Rs 1500.
The main mobile companies have booths in the arrivals area of Bandaranaike International Airport; compare prices as there are wide variations in rates. Major providers include the following:
All regions have a three-digit area code followed by a six- or seven-digit number. Mobile numbers usually begin with 07 or 08 and have up to 12 digits.
Internet facilities are available across Sri Lanka. In the smallest of towns, look around the bus stand. Access costs Rs 100 to Rs 150 per hour.
Wi-Fi in guesthouses and hotels is common in Colombo and tourist areas of the coasts and inland areas. It’s often free, except at some top-end places which can charge excessive rates. Connection speeds are acceptable – but don’t expect to stream a film. Also, reception in rooms may not work.
Excellent domestic service in urban and semi urban areas. Inadequate service in rural and remote areas (2010), good international service (2010). The latest trend is the Fixed 4G LTE technology, because of this technology many Sri Lankans who live in rural and remote areas can now access a good telephone and broadband internet service.
The national trunk network consists mostly of digital microwave radio relay and fiber-optic links are now in use in the Colombo City and all major cities and towns.
Two submarine cables to India and the Maldives, One Satellite earth stations – Intelsat (Indian Ocean) (2009)
Fixed Broadband Service Providers.
|Dialog||Dialog Broadband Networks (Pvt) Ltd||WiMAX, 4G LTE, Wi-Fi|
|Lanka Bell||Lanka Bell Limited||WiMAX, 4G LTE|
|SLT||Sri Lanka Telecom PLC||ADSL2+, VDSL2, 4G LTE, FTTH, Wi-Fi|
Mobile Broadband Service Providers
|Dialog||Dialog Axiata PLC||GPRS, EDGE, UMTS, HSPA, HSPA+, DC-HSPA+, 4G LTE|
|Mobitel||Mobitel (Pvt) Ltd||GPRS, EDGE, UMTS, HSPA, HSPA+, DC-HSPA+, 4G LTE|
|Etisalat||Etisalat Lanka (Pvt) Ltd||GPRS, EDGE, UMTS, HSPA, HSPA+, DC-HSPA+|
|Hutch||Hutchison Telecommunications Lanka (Pvt) Ltd||GPRS, EDGE, UMTS, HSPA, HSPA+|
|Airtel||Bharti Airtel Lanka (Pvt) Ltd||GPRS, EDGE, UMTS, HSPA, HSPA+|
Calling a mobile phone in Sri Lanka
Mobile numbers in Sri Lanka consist of 10 digits. The mobile network can be identified by the first digits in the number. All mobile operators have a code starting with 07:
Mobitel – 071
Etisalat – 072
Airtel – 075
Dialog – 077
Hutch – 078
This code is then followed by the 7 digits of the main mobile number. If you are dialing a fixed line phone from a mobile, you still need to enter the area code.
To call a Sri Lankan mobile from abroad, you follow the same principle as when dialing a fixed line. Take the country code, +94, then add the operator code without the 0, and finally the main 7-digit number.
Calling internationally from Sri Lanka
If you are calling abroad from Sri Lanka, check with your phone company whether your line is able to connect internationally. It’s also advisable to check international call rates, as depending on your call plan, the cost can vary greatly.
If, as an expat, you expect to make regular calls abroad, then make sure your calling plan has an allowance for international calls. All networks in Sri Lanka have special packages for international calling or international prepaid phone cards. The rates depend on the network, time, and whether you are dialing from and to a mobile or fixed line.
How to make a domestic call in Sri Lanka
A fixed line phone number has 10 digits in Sri Lanka. They appear in the format xxx y zzzzzz, where:
xxx represents the area code which always begins with a 0
y is the operator code for fixed lines
zzzzzz is the telephone number, which is always six digits
For example, to call a Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) Megaline line in Kandy, you would dial: 081 2 123456, where 081 is the code for Kandy and 2 is the code for SLT Megaline phones.
If you want to make a call to Sri Lanka from abroad, then you need to add the country code, which is +94 (the + represents the international call prefix, usually 00, depending on your country) and take the first 0 off the area code.
So to call a SLT Megaline phone in Kandy, it would be: 0094 81 2 123456
Telephone area codes
011 – Colombo
031 – Negombo
038 – Panadura
055 – Badulla
021 – Jaffna
032 – Puttalam
041 – Matara
057 – Bandarawela
023 – Mannar
033 – Gampaha
045 – Ratnapura
063 – Ampara
024 – Vavuniya
034 – Kalutara
047 – Hambantota
065 – Batticaloa
025 – Anuradhapura
035 – Kegalle
051 – Hatton
066 – Matale
026 – Trincomalee
036 – Avissawella
052 – Nuwara Eliya
067 – Kalmunai
027 – Polonnaruwa
037 – Kurunegala
054 – Nawalapitiya
081 – Kandy
The electric current is 230V, 50 cycles. Plugs come in a bewildering range of variations. Besides the primary plug type shown here, you may well find US, EU and British-style plugs in your room.
Adaptors are readily available at markets, supermarkets and tourist shops for under Rs 500.