The number of active mobile subscribers rose for the second month in October with telecom operators adding 8.56 lakh users in the month as the issue of biometric re-registration of SIM settled down, said BTRC officials.
The total number of subscribers of five mobile companies stood at 12.07 crore at the end of October, up from 11.91 crore in September, according to the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission data released on Tuesday.
The data of Citycell, which was shut for two weeks in October over a payment dispute, has not been included in the tally, said officials.
The total number of subscribers, which according to officials are basically active SIMs, hit its highest mark at 13.26 crore in May 2016.
But, the number came down to 11.77 crore in August, 2016 as the operators lost around 1.50 crore subscribers after the end of the deadline for biometric SIM registration of mobile phone users on May 31.
The number of users declined as many of the subscribers who had multiple SIMs did not complete biometric registration for all of their SIMs.
As per the rules, the mobile operators have to count any number as active unless it remains off for three consecutive months, BTRC officials said.
The mobile users’ number started to grow again in September with the operators adding 13 lakh users in the month as the effect of biometric registration ended.
The latest BTRC data showed that leading operator Grameenphone added 7.21 lakh subscribers in October taking its subscriber base to 5.57 crore at the end of the month. In September, GP got 5.08 lakh new subscribers.
GP had lost 28.86 lakh subscribers in the June-August period in 2016 due to the biometric re-registration of SIM cards.
Banglalink’s active subscribers rose to 2.99 crore in October as the operator added 5.1 lakh users during the month. In September, the operator added 4.94 lakh customers.
The operator had lost 30 lakh subscribers in the June-August period in 2016.
Robi added 5.93 lakh users in October that took its subscriber base to 2.44 crore while it had lost 42 lakh subscribers in the June-August period in 2016. Robi added 5.71 lakh users in September.
In line with the previous four months, Airtel, which has already merged with Robi, witnessed a decline in its subscriber base for the fifth month in October as the number of its users declined by 53,000 to 77.25 lakh.
The operator lost 24 lakh subscribers in the June-October period last year.
State-run operator Teletalk lost 1.29 lakh users in October as its subscriber base declined to 28.6 lakh after adding 73,000 subscribers in September.
Teletalk had lost 16 lakh subscribers in the June-August period in 2016.
The BTRC, however, did not provide any subscriber-related data of Citycell for the months of September and October.
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