The number of mobile subscribers in Bangladesh reached 34.037 million at the end of December, up by 1.027 million in a month, and a rise of over twelve million since the start of the year, according to the latest figures from the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC). GrameenPhone remains the market leader with 16.48 million customers, up from 15.15 million at the end of September, while Banglalink (aka Sheba Telecom) ended the year with 7.08 million subscribers, up from 6.02 million at the start of the fourth quarter, and double its figure at the beginning of 2007. This growth pushed Orascom-owned Banglalink into second place in the market, overtaking Telecom Malaysia subsidiary AKTEL, which lost 600,000 net customers in 4Q to end December with 6.40 million users, according to the regulator’s figures. UAE-backed Warid Telecom acquired 2.15 million customers – taking fourth place – in just eight months after launching in May 2007. Pacific Bangladesh Telecom Limited (CityCell), the only CDMA operator in a GSM-dominated sector, continued to steadily increase its subscriber base to 1.41 million by end-December, up from 1.32 million at the end of 3Q. State-run Teletalk had 850,000 subscribers on 31 December, up from 720,000 a month earlier, and 400,000 at end-2006, although previous claims had put its estimated subscriber base at a million by end-September 2007.
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