Banglalink’s revenue grew 5.4 percent year-on-year to Tk 1,153.68 crore in the second quarter of the year as the operator bought a huge amount of spectrum to improve service quality.
It witnessed customer growth of 3.1 percent supported by improved distribution and improving network availability, said Veon, the parent company, in a report yesterday.
The revenue increase was driven by a rise in data revenue following enhanced network availability and expansion of distribution footprint.
Erik Aas, chief executive officer of Banglalink, said the company registered a solid performance in the second quarter following a good start in the first quarter. “Our improvements are highlighted by a 5.4 percent revenue growth in this quarter and we are confident of keeping the momentum going throughout the rest of the year.”
Data revenue was up 28 percent year-on-year to Tk 225.37 crore, which reflects the operator’s gradual emergence as a prominent digital player in the market, Aas said.
At the end of the quarter, its active customer base stood at 3.33 crore, of which 2.11 crore are using internet and their average monthly data consumption reached 1,250MB.
Veon also expressed concern about tax structure and continuously changing regulatory environment.
The 2019-20 budget doubled the supplementary duty to 10 percent from 5 percent on all kinds of mobile services and the SIM tax to Tk 200 from Tk 100. The minimum tax rate went up to 2 percent from 0.75 percent, while custom duties on smartphones increased to 25 from 10 percent.
“As the SIM tax, the supplementary duty on voice and data services and the minimum tax on a mobile operator’s turnover have increased in the recent budget, it will be challenging for us to maintain the expected growth rate,” said Aas. The operator called for revising the taxation regime.
It said the authorities need to consider a few crucial issues such as the implementation of significant market player (SMP) and an acceptable tower sharing regime to ensure the sustainable growth of the telecom industry, Aas said. Banglalink invested Tk 181.99 crore in capital expenditure in the second quarter.