Internet Access & Telecommunications
Mobile phones (cell phones) are very popular in Sri Lanka and obtaining mobile phone service is a quick and easy process, especially if you possess an unlocked phone (i.e. a mobile phone that can accept a SIM card from any network). SIM cards from popular service providers are available at the airport as you arrive in Sri Lanka, but purchasing a SIM card from a retailer outside of the airport will give you a better selection of packages. Please note all mobile phone networks in Sri Lanka are using GSM technology instead of CDMA. Also, Sri Lankan GSM networks are on either GSM 900MHz and/or 1800MHz bands. Therefore, please make sure that your GSM mobile phone is compatible with those bands unless you have a quad-band phone. You can also roam with your number from your country, but roaming is an expensive option most of the time.
Sri Lanka has a good coverage of mobile Internet access (3G and 4G coverage areas depend on the service provider you choose), though some visitors may find the connection speeds to be a bit slow. Wired (ADSL) Internet access and Wi-Fi are also available, especially in hotels and in some restaurants.
In Sri Lanka, the standard AC power voltage is 220-230V and the frequency is 50Hz. The power outlets are of the “British round type” (BS 546). There is a growing trend of using the “British rectangular type” (BS 1363) sockets in Sri Lanka, but the majority of power outlets still remains as the BS 546 standard. When visiting Sri Lanka, having a travel adapter that plugs into BS 546 standard socket will be highly convenient. These adapters are also available in various stores including supermarkets in Sri Lanka, should you need to purchase.
Measurement units in Sri Lanka follow the metric system in most circumstances with few exceptions (such as with tailors). If you are used to non-metric measurement systems, it would be beneficial for you to become familiarized with the metric system. Even if some Sri Lankans (especially the older generation) may be familiar with non-metric measurement units, they may know those units under different names.