The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission is apparently shy of publishing the subscriber data of mobile phone and the internet after the phone companies lost 1.29 crore users in July-August period.
The telecom regulator usually publishes mobile and internet users’ data every month on its website.
But after the fall of subscriber numbers in two consecutive months the BTRC is yet to publish the data for September and October.
The mobile phone companies lost 92 lakh active subscribers in August and 37 lakh in July.
In August, the country also lost 17 lakh internet users as most of the users use internet through mobile phones.
The total number of active mobile users was 13.26 crore in May that came down to 11.97 crore in August.
BTRC officials said that the aftershock of biometric SIM registration was the key reason for huge decline in the active number of mobile phone and internet users in the country.
‘But the decline in user number happened in May when the biometric registration ended. Now mobile operators have to wait for three months before deciding to mark any number as inactive. So, now the actual numbers are coming out,’ a senior BTRC official said.
The operators are also in image crisis with the loss of such huge amount of subscribers as such issues affect the customers’ confidence, he said.
The number of mobile phone and internet users is crucial as these components are used to measure the country’s performance in ICT at the international forums, another official said.
‘So that might be a reason too for not publishing the data in recent times,’ he said.
Asked about the issue BTRC chairman Shahjahan Mahmood said there was no link between delay in data publishing and decrease in subscriber number.
‘When we were doing the biometric registration we knew that the number of users would go down. Decrease in subscriber number is not the issue as we now have an authentic subscriber database,’ he said.
‘There should be no link between delay on data publication and decrease in user number. I will look into the matter,’ Shahjahan said.
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