Egyptian telco Orascom has announced that its Bangladeshi mobile unit Banglalink has become the third operator in the country to sign up a million subscribers. Banglalink, which was relaunched in February 2005, added 400,000 users in less than three months to reach the milestone. There are now an estimated nine million mobile phone users in Bangladesh, up from 7.2 million at the end of September, and the total number of customers in the country of 140 million people is expected to double to over 18 million in 2006 as cellcos cut costs and expand coverage to sign up low income users. To celebrate its millionth customer, Banglalink unveiled a new package which cuts initial connection costs to an all-time low of USD2, with the aim of adding three million subscribers in 2006. Market leader GrameenPhone, owned by Norway’s Telenor, now has over five million subscribers, or around 60% of the market, having more than doubled its client base in eleven months. Telekom Malaysia subsidiary Aktel is in second place, accounting for 2.074 million subscribers at the end of September.
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