Mobile industry accounts for 6.2pc of GDP | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, January 19, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 11:59 PM, January 18, 2017

Mobile industry accounts for 6.2pc of GDP

London-based GSMA says in new report

Mobile technologies and services generated about $12.8 billion in 2015, which is 6.2 percent of the country's gross domestic product that year, according to a report from GSMA.

Of the sum, $3.8 billion came from wages, taxes and business surplus and $1.4 billion from sectors providing inputs in the supply chain of mobile goods and services.

GSMA, a London-based trade body that represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, quantified the efficiency brought about by the use of mobile technology and said it contributed $7.6 billion to Bangladesh's GDP in 2015.

Of the $3.8 billion that came directly from the mobile industry, the operators accounted for 58 percent, handset manufacturers 1 percent, infrastructure providers 12 percent, distributers and retailers 25 percent, and content applications and other service providers 4 percent.

The industry generated more than 765,000 jobs, directly and indirectly, that year, said the report titled 'Economic Impact: Bangladesh Mobile Industry', which was released yesterday.

At present, Bangladesh performs close to the regional averages across metrics of mobile market development despite having lower income than neighbouring countries.

Notably, the country is above the regional average in subscriber penetration, while only slightly below in mobile internet and in the proportions of 3G connections.

Bangladesh's subscriber penetration stands at 53 percent, which is higher than India's 48 percent and South Asia's 50 percent.

Mobile internet penetration is 33 percent, which is more or less the same as in India and South Asia. The neighbouring country's mobile internet penetration is 35 percent and South Asia's 34 percent. Bangladesh's proportion of 3G connections is 20 percent, which is more than India's but less than South Asia's figure of 21 percent.

In terms of public contribution, the mobile ecosystem generated about 10 percent of the government's revenue in 2015, valued at $2.42 billion through general taxation, mobile-specific taxes and spectrum licences.

The association organised a workshop at Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel in the city on spectrum allocation process and staged a mock spectrum auction.

“GSMA Intelligence findings clearly demonstrate the substantial contribution that mobile makes to the Bangladeshi economy,” said Brett Tarnutzer, head of spectrum at GSMA.

“By systematically pursuing a policy framework that increases certainty, acknowledges market realities and removes regulatory barriers to investment and innovation, the Bangladesh government and its citizens stand to achieve so much in the coming years,” he added.

By 2020, the mobile industry is expected to generate $17 billion of economic value.

They said this forecast relies on a favourable macroeconomic environment and on a moderate expansion in demand and supply in the mobile market.

Earlier, in a budget proposal presentation by the Association of Mobile Telecom Operators of Bangladesh, it was said the mobile industry contributed to 2.63 percent of the GDP in fiscal 2013-14. In fiscal 2012-13 it was 2.56 percent.

Employment opportunities are also set to expand from 780,000 jobs in 2016 to 850,000 jobs in 2020, an increase of about 9 percent during that period.

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