The telecom industry got a massive boost in the last six months as more and more people are now taking up digital services.
Between January and June this year, the industry added 95.91 lakh new mobile subscribers and 67.24 lakh internet users, according to data from the telecom authority, unveiled yesterday.
Over the last six months, the total active mobile connections saw 7.59 percent growth and internet connections 10.09 percent growth. At the end of June, the total mobile connections stood at 13.60 crore and internet connections 7.34 crore, according to the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission. Telecom insiders termed this growth very natural and said this will continue in the next few years as people are getting more used to digital services.
“This is an expected growth rate to us and we think it will continue for the next few years as the market still has much potential,” said TIM Nurul Kabir, secretary general of the Association of Mobile Telecom Operators of Bangladesh.
Though the number of SIMs reached 13.60 crore, the number represents about 56 percent of the country's population, according to global statistics. “It can reach up to 70 percent by 2020.”
In the internet segment, mobile operators dominate with 6.87 crore active internet connections, followed by internet service providers at 46.22 lakh and the dying WiMax operators at 75,000 customers.
“People are now using internet more for buying products,” Kabir said, adding that the internet usage will soar with the advent of 4G, which provides faster speed.
ROBI TOPS LIST OF NEW SUBSCRIPTIONS
Newly-merged Robi and Airtel added the highest number of customers -- 57.39 lakh -- during the period to take their total subscriber base to 3.96 crore.
Banglalink, which is now the third largest operator, added 56.64 lakh new customers to take the tally to 3.15 crore.
Market leader Grameenphone added 36.25 lakh subscribers, widening their subscriber base to 6.16 crore.
State-run Teletalk though lost 3.73 lakh subscribers and was left with 33.6 lakh customers at the end of June.