The number of active mobile phone subscribers increased 17 lakh to 14.87 crore in February this year from 14.70 crore in the previous month.
Although the number of active users increased during the period, the growth was lower than the growth in the previous two months.
It was the 4G launch-centric drive of the mobile phone operators, carried out before the launch of the service on February 18, that gave a higher growth in mobile phone subscription in December 2017 and January 2018.
The number of mobile phone subscribers rose by 18.87 lakh and 20.08 lakh in last December and January respectively.
As mobile phone operators are yet to launch 4G service in majority of their service areas, after being awarded the licences by the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission, drawing huge customer criticisms, an official of the BTRC said.
‘That’s why, operators might have adopted a go slow approach,’ the official said.
All the operators except for the state-owned Teletalk have already launched 4G service, resulting in decline in customers of the operator.
Second largest mobile phone operator Robi managed to attain the highest number of subscribers in February, adding 13.7 lakh new subscribers. The number of subscribers of the operator increased to 4.56 crore from 4.42 crore in January this year.
The number of subscribers of Grameenphone, country’s leading mobile phone operator, increased 6 lakh to 6.64 crore in February from 6.59 crore in January.
Banglalink’s subscriber increased 3.64 lakh to Tk 3.27 crore.
Robi, Grameenphone and Banglalink combined added 23.34 lakh new subscribers, while Teletalk lost 5.65 lakh subscribers taking its subscribers number to 39.88 lakh.
Teletalk is yet to finalise its plan for launching 4G service amid cash crunch as the operator has been suffering from losses for long.
The number of active internet users increased 23.12 lakh to 8.31 crore in
February this year from 8.08 crore in January.
Of the internet users, mobile internet users increased 20.99 lakh to 7.75 crore in February from 7.54 crore a month ago, while broadband users increased by 2.15 lakh to 55.6 lakh in February from 53.45 lakh in January.
WiMAX subscribers fell to 86,000 in February this year from 88,000 in January.
The Global System for Mobile Communications, an association of mobile phone operators and manufacturers across the country, in a recent report stated that the country’s total unique mobile phone subscribers number was 8.5 crore at the end of December 2017, while the number of unique internet users was 3.38 crore at the end of last year.
According to BTRC officials, the commission treats a mobile phone number active when the number was found active once within a period of three months.
The same method was followed for counting active internet subscribers, the officials said.
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