Mobile phone operators have claimed that the total number of recharges through the retail channel has dropped by around 20 per cent due to the movement restrictions imposed by the government to contain the coronavirus outbreak in the country.
Taking the situation into consideration, the telcos urged customers to recharge for talk-time by using alternative means such as mobile financial services, electronic money transfer and mobile applications.
Over the last couple of days, the operators had also witnessed up to 20 per cent decline in voice calls, said a statement issued by the Association of Mobile Telecom Operators of Bangladesh on Thursday.
The statement, issued by AMTOB secretary general SM Farhad, said, ‘The telecom sector is also experiencing challenges similar to all other areas of the economy due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.’
‘The Mobile Network Operators are already observing trends in usage patterns that may leave some dent in their overall revenues,’ he said, adding that considering the current scenario, the MNOs had in some cases reduced data pack tariffs by up to 50 per cent, which resulted in around 15 to 20 per cent data usage growth.
However, although data usage growth is rising rapidly, data monetisation is still low for the MNOs, Farhad said.
Particularly worrying is the fact that over the last couple of days, voice calls have drastically dropped by up to 20 per cent, he said.
The total number of recharges through the retail channels has also dropped by around 20 per cent due to the movement restrictions, the secretary general said.
‘Although telecom has been declared an emergency service during this crisis period, the law enforcement agencies are imposing restrictions in some places, may be due to ignorance about the government directives,’ he said, adding that these obstacles were somewhat hampering the running of our retail operations, especially the top-up or recharge services.
‘The MNOs, therefore, urge the law enforcers to extend their kind cooperation towards the smooth functioning of our top-up stores and other recharge outlets,’ he said.
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