According to new data from the Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (BTRC), the country’s mobile operators added 1.38 million new subscribers in March 2008 to raise the total user base to 38.93 million. The figures show that market leading Telenor subsidiary GrameenPhone’s subscriber base increased by 610,000 in March to reach 17.81 million; Orascom Telecom’s Banglalink’s customer base grew by 430,000 to 8.31 million; Telecom Malaysia International Bangladesh (AKTEL) signed up 90,000 users to take its total to 7.45 million (after slipping behind Banglalink in the first two months of the year); Warid Telecom Bangladesh (which launched in May 2007) has already firmly established itself in fourth place with 2.79 million subscribers at the end of March, up from 2.6 million in February; SingTel-backed CityCell (the only CDMA operator in a GSM-dominated field) added 50,000 users to end the month with 1.56 million; and finally state-owned Teletalk was reported to have 1.01 million customers, compared to a million the month before. The latest growth figures bring the impoverished country’s cellular penetration rate to an estimated 27%.
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