Norwegian-backed Bangladeshi mobile operator GrameenPhone (GP) said it added 106,000 net new GSM subscribers during the second quarter of 2009, resulting in a slight decline in market share, but still accounting for at least 45% of all users in the country; according to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database GP had a 45.5% share of subscribers at end-March 2009. GP’s latest additions took its total base to 21.16 million at the end of June, whilst according to the Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission, smaller rival Banglalink, owned by Egypt’s Orascom, added almost double GP’s number of net new users in 2Q (or 204,000), to take its total to 11.04 million. GP, 62%-owned by Telenor, posted a 10% year-on-year rise in revenues in the three months ended 30 June 2009 to USD236 million, which it attributed to the increase in its customer base, higher average prices (the company has recently removed handset subsidies) and increased interconnectivity revenues due to the introduction an international gateway in the fourth quarter of 2008, which were partly offset by reduced domestic interconnection fees. CEO Oddvar Hesjedal said: ‘The increasing revenue growth trend I think accurately demonstrates that the management is willing to make the right changes at the right time to bolster the company during the lull in the economy…In light of the current market conditions growth is definitely a positive indicator of the business prospects of GrameenPhone.’ Monthly average revenue per user (ARPU) fell by 1% year-on-year due to lower usage and reduced interconnection fees.
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