Using a phone in Sri Lanka

Dialling, area codes and useful numbers

Using a phone in Sri Lanka

While the telephone network isn’t very extensive in rural Sri Lanka, there is a high density of mobile phone and fixed lines in urban areas.

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

Follow the link for a complete list of area and operator codes  in Sri Lanka.

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 dialling 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 dialling 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 dialling from and to a mobile or fixed line.

Further reading

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