The number of active mobile phone subscribers in Bangladesh increased by 6.59 lakh in October despite state-owned Teletalk having lost 4.52 lakh users in the month.
Industry insiders said although voice call and data tariffs of the lone state-owned mobile operator were compatible with private mobile operators, the subscriber base of Teletalk remained low due mainly to poor network coverage.
Slow policy making and funding issues might be among other reasons for the operator’s failure to sustain the existing customers as well as avail new customers, they said.
While three private telecom operators — Grameenphone, Robi and Banglalink — are moving fast to expand 4G mobile phone service across the country, the state-owned entity is yet to launch the service even after 9 months of the service launch by all the three private mobile phone operators.
Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission, during its drives against illegal voice-over-internet-protocol in October and November, detected and captured 77,590 SIM cards of Teletalk on suspicion of being used in illegal VOIP business, which also contributed to the fall in the mobile operators’ subscriber base.
As per the latest BTRC data, the number of active mobile phone subscribers increased to 15.65 crore at the end of October from 15.58 crore at the end of September.
Grameenphone, Robi and Banglalink managed to add 11.11 lakh subscribers in October including 5.92 lakh new subscribers of leading mobile phone operator Grameenphone, 4.09 lakh new subscribers of second largest mobile phone operator Robi and 1.1 lakh new subscribers of Banglalink.
As of October 30 this year, the number of GP’s subscribers increased to 7.2 crore from 7.14 crore at the end of September this year.
The number of Robi’s subscribers rose to 4.72 crore at the end of October this year from 4.68 crore at the end of September.
The number of active subscribers of Banglalink rose to 3.38 crore at the end of October this year from 3.37 crore at the end of September this year.
The number of active subscribers of Teletalk declined to 34.93 lakh at the end of October this year from 39.45 lakh at the end of September.
The number of active mobile internet users increased by 12.71 lakh to 8.67 crore in October this year from 8.54 crore in September this year.
The BTRC data also showed that the number of WiMax and broadband internet users remained static at 0.8 lakh and 57.34 lakh respectively in October.
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