The number of active mobile phone users in the country declined by 92 lakh in the month of August as operators were still adjusting their subscriber number after the biometric SIM re-registration that ended on May 31.
According to the latest data of Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission, the total active mobile phone users in the country was 11.97 crore in August, while the number was 12.89 crore in July.
In July, country’s six mobile phone companies lost 37 lakh subscribers as the total number of active mobile users was 13.26 crore in May.
BTRC officials said as per the rules the mobile phone operators have to count any number as active unless it remains off for three consecutive months.
As the biometric re-registration ended in May the operators had to adjust the active subscriber number and so the subscriber number was decreasing.
‘It’s just because of the calculation process. Initially, the subscriber number decreased in June,’ a senior BTRC official told New Age.
He also said that with the biometric registration impact the operators also added subscribers in the period.
In August, leading mobile phone operator Grameenphone lost 18 lakh subscribers that pushed down its subscriber base to 5.45 crore.
Banglalink’s subscriber base came down to 2.89 crore in August as the operator lost 24 lakh subscribers in the month.
Robi lost 36 lakh subscribers in the month that brought down its subscriber base to 2.32 crore.
Airtel’s subscriber base came down to 79.43 lahk in August as the operator lost 13.71 lakh subscribers.
The subscriber base of Citycell, which has been closed by the BTRC for non-payment of dues on October 20, remained stagnant in August at 6.68 lakh.
BTRC chairman Shahjahan Mahmood, however, recently said that the actual number of users of Citycell before its closure was 1.50 lakh.
The subscriber base of state-run Teletalk also remained unchanged at 44.37 lakh in August.
The BTRC official said as Teletalk did not adjust the subscriber number till August after the end of biometric re-registration process, its subscriber base was yet to be affected.
‘The subscriber number of Teletalk would be affected in September,’ he said.
The BTRC data also showed that internet users in the country also declined by 17 lakh in August as the majority of the internet subscribers were mobile phone-based users.
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