Cell phone subscription grows by 146pc in 4 months

May 24, 2010

Bangladesh witnessed a sizzling growth of its tele-density by 146 percent in the past four months with addition of nearly four million mobile phone subscribers since January this year, officials and operators said here today.
Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (BTRC) officials said 3.93 million new mobile phone users were added between January and April, a figure that shows a sizzling growth of 164 percent over the same period last year.
“The total number of mobile phone active subscribers has reached 56.36 million at the end of April 2010,” a BTRC spokesman told BSS.
Telecom analysts said a stable political environment boosted the growth as they referred to two years of emergency rules until December 2008 under an interim government crucially backed by military.
Association of Mobile Telecom Operators Bangladesh (AMTOB) sources said the expansion came at a cost of huge subsidy by the country’s six operators as the operators paid at least Taka 600 for every SIM card they sold to a subscriber.
The operators now sell SIM cards at Taka 150-250 each, they pay Taka 800 in flat tax to the government for every connection, they said.
The AMTOB sources said the impressive growth in the first four months was also boosted by up to 50 per cent cut in call tariffs and launching of new packages by the companies.
According to the latest BTRC statistics, the number of cell phone subscribers was now 56.36 million, a figure which is 38 percent of the country’s nearly 150 million population.
The number of land phone subscribers is now 1,800,000. Of Them, 1,200,000 are clients of the state-run BTTB.
BTRC officials said among the cell phone operators, Robi, formerly known as Aktel, was the top seller in the past four months, adding 1.53 million new connections to take its number to 10.82 million.
Grameenphone added 1.29 million users in January-April to retain its pole position with 24.55 million subscribers while Banglalink sold 1.07 million new connections during the same period to keep its second position intact with 14.94 million subscribers.
Warid is yet to see any big leap in the subscribers’ base as the company’s new India-based Bharti Airtel-led management has not come up with any major new package.
The premier Citycell company was the only one which posted negative growth as its number of active subscribers fell to 1.89 million from 1.91 million in April despite offering the lowest intra-network call tariffs in the country.
State-owned Teletalk has continued to be bottom-placed with 1.13 million users.

Courtesy of BSS via The New Nation

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