Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development has ranked Bangladesh as the world’s sixth largest unconnected market in terms of mobile telephone users with its 46.2 per cent population being deprived of getting connected through mobile phone.
Besides, Bangladesh has been ranked 114th in 2017 from 119 in 2016 in terms of using broadband or fixed internet connections use as only 3.8 per cent of its people using the service, leaving 96.2 per cent out of the coverage, showed a BCSD report, The State of Broadband 2017, published recently.
The BCSD was established by ITU and UNESCO in 2010 with a view to boosting the importance of broadband on the international policy agenda, and expanding broadband access in every country as key to accelerating progress towards national and international development targets.
As per the report of BCSD, of the total 16.38 crore people of the country, 7.57 crore are yet to get connected through mobile handset.
The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission’s data, however, showed that the number of active mobile phone subscribers was
12.63 crore at the end of December, 2016 and that increased to 13.59 crore in June this year.
Existing BTRC rules allow an individual to own highest 20 SIM cards.
India with 113.46 crore population has been ranked as the world’s largest unconnected market with its 49.5 per cent or 66.01 crore population remaining unconnected.
China and Nigeria became second and third largest unconnected market respectively with the countries’ 36.22 crore and 10.16 crore people not enjoying mobile phone services.
Pakistan and Brazil were fourth and fifth, while Ethiopia, Indonesia, United States and Congo followed the chart.
‘The top 10 largest unconnected markets in mobile are shown accounting for just over six-tenths or 61.3 per cent of the total number of people without access to mobile telephony,’ the BCSD
‘The top five largest unconnected markets in mobile in terms of absolute subscriber numbers in fact account for nearly half of the total number of people without access to mobile telephony,’ it said.
Mentioning the importance of mobile phone as a major tool to get internet access, the report said mobile industry contributed some $3.1 trillion to global GDP and some $431 billion in public funding, and employed 32 million
people either directly or indirectly.
Media agency Zenith’s forecasts estimated that 71 per cent of all internet consumption took place via mobile in 2016 and three-quarters
of all internet use were via mobile by 2017, with a growing number of consumers around the world accessing the web on smartphones and tablets, the broadband commission report mentioned.
Despite Bangladesh’s five notches improvement in using broadband internet, the country is yet to ensure basic fixed-broadband services at less than 5 per cent of monthly gross national income
Although the report was released in September, mobile phone and broadband internet users’ data was prepared based on data for the period ended on December, 2016.
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