The number of active mobile phone subscribers in the country surpassed 15 crore at the end of March this year despite losing of customers by the country’s lone state-owned company, Teletalk.
According to the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission data released on Monday, the number of mobile phone users increased by 15.14 lakh to 15.02 crore at the end of March this year from 14.87 crore in the previous month.
Although the number of active users has been on the rise, the growth rate has slowed down in last three months as the mobile phone operators have been reducing their 4G launch-centric campaigns gradually.
The mobile phone operators excluding Teletalk launched 4G-service in February 18 this year immediately after getting regulatory approval.
The number of mobile phone subscribers rose by 18.87 lakh, 20.08 lakh and 17 lakh in December last year, January and February this year respectively.
Teletalk is yet to launch 4G service, resulting in a decline in its customer base.
The number of subscribers of Grameenphone, country’s leading mobile phone operator, increased the most —9.91 lakh — taking its subscriber base to 6.75 crore in March from 6.64 crore in February.
The third largest private mobile phone company, Banglalink, managed to get second highest number of new subscribers — 5.97 lakh — in March. The number of subscribers of the entity rose to 3.33 crore at the end of March from 3.27 crore a month ago.
Robi, the second largest mobile company, got only 14,000 new subscribers with its total subscribers standing at 4.56 crore at the end of March from 4.559 crore in the previous month.
Teletalk lost another 88,000 subscribers in March this year after it lost 5.65 lakh subscribers in the previous month.
The number of subscribers of the entity declined to 39 lakh from 39.88 lakh.
Industry insiders said poor network coverage and service quality was also a reason for the decline in subscriber base of Teletalk.
The number of active internet users increased by 14.04 lakh to 8.45 crore at the end of March this year from 8.31 crore at the end of February this year.
Of the internet users, the number of mobile internet users increased by 12.94 lakh to 7.88 crore in March from 7.75 crore a month ago, while the number of broadband users increased by 1.09 lakh to 56.69 lakh in March from 55.6 lakh in February.
The number of WiMAX subscribers increased to 87,000 in March this year from 86,000 in February.
The Global System for Mobile Communications, an association of mobile phone operators and manufacturers across the world, in a recent report stated that the total unique mobile phone subscribers’ number in Bangladesh was 8.5 crore at the end of December 2017, while the number of unique internet users was 3.38 crore.
According to BTRC officials, the commission treats a mobile phone number active if the number is found active once within a period of three months.
The same method is followed for counting active internet subscribers, the officials said.
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