Regulator reports mobile growth slowdown

14 Jan 2009

Bangladesh’s mobile network operators finished 2008 with a combined total of 44.6 million subscribers after adding 10.27 million customers in the year, a growth rate of 30% compared to the 62% growth recorded in 2007, according to figures released by the Bangladesh Telecommunication and Regulatory Commission (BTRC). According to the watchdog’s statistics, market leader GrameenPhone added 4.51 million customers in 2008 to take its total to 20.99 million at end-December, while nearest rival Banglalink added 3.25 million users and AKTEL 1.8 million to reach total subscriber bases of 10.33 million and 8.20 million, respectively. The market’s most recent entrant Warid Telecom ended the year with 2.33 million customers, ahead of CityCell with 1.81 million, and state-run Teletalk with 980,000 subscribers. The number of active mobile phone users dipped on a monthly basis in September for the first time, mostly attributable to the regulator’s crackdown on unregistered SIM cards. The operators blamed the wider slowdown in subscriber growth on the economic downturn and increased mobile connection fees. The BTRC said the country’s total active users rose by 680,000 in the month of December.

Bangladesh,

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