Etisalat, previously known as Celltel and Tigo, is the oldest mobile network operator in Sri Lanka, having been launched in 1989.

In November 2018, CK Hutchison Holdings, which operates the Hutch mobile network in Sri Lanka, acquired Etisalat’s Sri Lankan operations, with the intention to merge the Hutch and Etisalat brands and create a stronger competitor to Dialog Axiata and Mobitel, which dominate the telecom market in the country. The merger will reduce the number of telecom operators in the country from five to four (Dialog, Mobitel, Hutch—which will eventually replace the Etisalat brand—and Airtel).



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Logo of the Cellcard sub-brand.




Millicom acquired Celltel in 2007 and rebranded it to Tigo, in line with its other subsidiaries across Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa.



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The Tigo brand in Sri Lanka turned out to be short-lived: in 2010, Emirati telecom multinational Etisalat acquired Tigo and rebranded it to Etisalat.

Following the merger between Etisalat and Hutch on 30 November 2018, Etisalat in Sri Lanka is now owned by CK Hutchison Holdings. The Etisalat brand will continue for some time before being phased out in favour of the Hutch brand.