The number of mobile phone subscribers increased by 2.39 lakh in May this year but the growth slowed compared with that in the previous month as two out of the four active mobile phone operators in the country lost subscribers in the month.
As per the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission data, the number of mobile phone subscribers increased to 16.08 crore at the end of May from 16.06 crore in April this year.
The growth in subscriber acquisition by the mobile phone operators dropped in May considering the 8.1 lakh subscriber growth in the previous month.
Although the number of connections issued by the mobile phone operators has reached near to the country’s total population, the unique number of subscribers is yet around 55 per cent of the population, said officials of the mobile phone operators.
They also said that the number of mobile phone connections could be double of the country’s population as many smart devices and home appliances have started to be connected with internet through SIM cards.
Operators has been demanding a scrap of a budget proposal of the government for fiscal year 2019-20 that increased SIM tax to Tk 200 from existing Tk 100.
They said that such taxation would create hindrance to increasing teledensity in the country in line with the government’s plan.
Two mobile operators — Banglalink and Teletalk — lost 1.85 lakh subscribers in May, while the other two operators — Grameenphone and Robi — managed to add 4.24 lakh subscribers in the month.
Leading mobile phone operator Grameenphone got 3.08 lakh new subscribers, taking its subscriber base to 7.48 crore in May from 7.45 crore a month ago.
The second largest operator, Robi, managed to add 1.16 lakh subscribers, taking the number of its subscribers to 4.77 crore.
The number of subscribers of state-owned Teletalk dropped by 1.77 lakh in May this year to 38.18 lakh from 39.95 lakh a month ago, while Banglalink’s subscriber base dropped by 8,000 to 3.45 crore.
The number of active internet users in the country increased by 7 lakh in May to 9.44 crore from 9.37 crore a month ago.