How to Get Mobile Internet in Sri Lanka for Travelers: What Option to Choose?

Are you planning a trip to Sri Lanka? With its breathtaking scenery, delectable cuisine, and warm-hearted locals, Sri Lanka is a popular destination for millions of international travelers each year. However, to fully enjoy your experience, it’s crucial to have a reliable internet connection.

Mobile internet in Sri Lanka

 In this blog post, we will explore the top options for getting mobile internet in Sri Lanka. Discover the best prepaid SIM cards offered by major carriers and international eSIM plans designed specifically for travelers. Keep reading to find the perfect data solution for your Sri Lanka adventure!

I. Mobile Internet in Sri Lanka – Coverage and Speed

Sri Lanka’s internet coverage and speed are average but are increasingly improving to meet the needs of residents and tourists.

1. Coverage

Coverage experience in Sri Lanka
Coverage experience in Sri Lanka

At the beginning of 2023, the internet penetration rate in Sri Lanka was 66.7 percent, which means that about two-thirds of the total population had access to the internet.

Between 2022 and 2023, the number of internet users in Sri Lanka increased by 43 thousand people (0.3 percent).

2. Speed

Internet quality in Sri Lanka
Internet quality in Sri Lanka

Internet users in Sri Lanka experienced the following internet speeds:

  • The average speed of mobile internet connections through cellular networks was around 19.10 Mbps with Download Speed and 7.07 Mbps with Upload Speed.
  • The average speed of fixed internet connections was approximately 20.60 Mbps with Download Speed and 6.95 Mbps with Upload Speed.

II. What are Connectivity Options for Tourists to Sri Lanka?

Many ways to connect the Internet in Sri Lanka
Many ways to connect the Internet in Sri Lanka

There are 4 main options for tourists to stay connected in Sri Lanka 

Free Wi-FiFree Wi-Fi– Security risks
– Limited coverage
– Variable speed and reliability
Sri Lanka SIM Card– Wide coverage
– Cost control
– Reliable connection
-It takes effort to buy or wait for the SIM to be shipped to install it
– Main SIM is easily lost when removed
– 1 phone only uses 1 sim
Sri Lanka Roaming-Use the same current SIM – Expensive roaming charges
– Not all carriers have aggreement with Sri Lanka mobile operators
Sri Lanka pocket wifi-The phone does not need to be unlocked to receive the Internet
– Easy to use: turn on and use
– High equipment rental/purchase costs
– Must go to the place to buy/wait for delivery
– Always carry it with you
– Must charge or use backup charger-
Must be returned after trip ends (if rented)

III. Internet Rates in Sri Lanka

Mobile internet in Sri Lanka is developed to adapt to resident's needs
Mobile internet in Sri Lanka is developed to adapt to resident’s needs

Here is a comparison of mobile internet rates using common options: 

Prepaid Sri Lanka SIM Card/eSIMVarious plans availableStarting from $1
Dialog Sri Lanka RoamingDepends on your home plan3GB / 30 days / $1.7 
Mobitel Sri Lanka RoamingDepends on your home plan3.82GB / 30 days / $1
Hutch Sri Lanka RoamingDepends on your home plan2.7GB / 30 days / $1
Pocket WiFi RentalUnlimited dataStarting at $5 per day
Sri Lanka Public WiFiVaries depending on locationFree

IV. Data SIM Card for Mobile Internet in Sri Lanka

Airtel SIM Cards
Airtel SIM Cards

As a visitor to Sri Lanka, getting connectivity via a local SIM card is often the simplest and most affordable. Here are overall packages rates of some main operators in Sri Lanka:

  • Dialog: The SIM card includes a traffic capacity of 10GB and is priced at approximately $4.33
  • Mobitel: The cost of their SIM cards is approximately $3.33.
  • Hutch: For $3 USD, you can get a data package with a Hutch prepaid SIM card in Sri Lanka. This package includes 15 GB of data that is valid for 45 days.
  • Airtel: They offer two tariff plans, both valid for 30 days and including 30GB of data traffic. The package costs $1.4.

V. Data eSIM for Sri Lanka – Best Option to Get Mobile Internet for Tourists

eSIM for Sri Lanka
eSIM for Sri Lanka

For travelers visiting Sri Lanka, eSIM plans provide several advantages over traditional roaming or temporary SIM cards, especially if you have newer iPhone or Android models that support eSIM functionality

  • No physical SIM card required
  • Remote connectivity via QR code or application
  • Shared connectivity across dual SIM devices
  • Flexible data top-up

1. Buy eSIM from Sri Lanka Operators:

Carriers like Dialog or Hutch, Airtel offer eSIM plans that can be purchased and activated online for use within Sri Lanka. These plans provide Sri Lanka-wide connectivity on advanced 4G/5G networks.

 However, setting up the account through the carrier’s website and dealing with overseas support may pose some challenges. Additionally, the validity of tourist plans offered by these carriers may be shorter compared to some physical SIM cards.

2. Buy eSIM from GIGAGO: 

GIGAGO is a dedicated global eSIM provider that offers connectivity in over 190 countries, including Sri Lanka. They specialize in providing tourist and temporary data plans. GIGAGO offers the convenience of easy eSIM installation, 24/7 support service, and a seamless online purchasing process. 

To buy an eSIM from GIGAGO, you simply need to visit their website, select the country (Sri Lanka), choose your desired data allowance, make the payment, and wait for an email containing the QR code. Once you receive the QR code, you can follow the activation guide on your phone to activate the eSIM.

Gigago Sri Lanka eSIM
Gigago Sri Lanka eSIM

For Sri Lanka, Gigago offers multiple data plan options, starting from 1 GB for 7 days with $7.90 . What is great about Gigago’s Sri Lanka eSIM is that its plans’ costs are diversifying, varying between $7.90$16.50 . Thus, it does not matter how Internet users you are and how long your trip is in Sri Lanka, there is always an option for you with Gigago.


What types of mobile networks are available in Sri Lanka?

Sri Lanka has 2G, 3G, and 4G/LTE networks. Some network operators also offer 5G services in select areas.

Can I top up or recharge my mobile internet data in Sri Lanka?

Yes, network operators provide various methods for topping up or recharging your mobile internet data. You can do this through online portals, mobile apps, USSD codes, or by purchasing top-up vouchers from authorized retailers.

Can I purchase data-only plans without voice call minutes?

Yes, network operators in Sri Lanka offer data-only plans that cater specifically to mobile internet usage. These plans focus on providing data allowances without including voice call minutes.

VII. Conclusion

With reliable mobile internet access, Sri Lanka ensures a fantastic and digitally-connected experience for international guests, allowing them to enjoy its world-class attractions