Active SIMs cross 16cr
Bangladesh’s mobile industry hit a new milestone in April, crossing the 16 crore-mark in total active connections, according to a report of the telecom regulator published yesterday.
At the end of April the total number of active mobile connections stood at 16.06 crore, after 8.10 lakh new connections were added during the course of the month.
“Definitely, this is a milestone for the country and the mobile operators,” said SM Farhad, secretary general of the Association of Mobile Telecom Operators of Bangladesh.
Of the total active connections, 7.45 crore are with Grameenphone, making it the undisputed market leader despite its various run-ins with Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission in recent months.
Robi, which merged with Airtel in November 2016, has 4.76 crore active SIMs and Banglalink 3.46 crore. State-owned Teletalk has 39.95 lakh active SIMs.
In a sobering development, the latest one crore new subscribers took longer to come by than the previous two: 13 months as opposed to six months before.
Furthermore, industry insiders said the total number of unique users might not even cross 10 crore.
A survey by South Asia-based think-tank LirneAsia last year found that 30 percent of the mobile users in Bangladesh were using two SIMs and 2 percent more than three SIMs at a time.