GrameenPhone, the Bangladesh unit of Norway’s Telenor Group, has reported that it signed up 9.8 million GPRS/EDGE mobile internet users by the end of September 2012, up by around one million in three months, and up from 3.4 million just twelve months earlier – a year-on-year net increase of 6.4 million. The figures raised the proportion of its total user base accessing the web by 14 percentage points year-on-year to 24% in the same period. GrameenPhone has recently promoted internet usage on its GSM network with a special discount for first-time customers, plus specific targeting of user segments such as its ‘Internet Utshob’ campaign aimed at the youth market, as well as government partnerships including the distribution of wireless modems in schools across the country.
Total GSM customers reached 41.0 million at 30 September 2012, up from 39.3 million reported the previous quarter and 35.2 million in Q3 2011, helping drive revenue for the first nine months of the year up by 4.7% to BDT69.3 billion (USD835 million) and Q3 revenue up by 0.4% to BDT22.9 billion. EBITDA margin remained at 53% in 9M 2012, the same level as the corresponding period of 2011, although the margin dropped in 3Q12 to 52%, down from 58% in 2011’s third quarter. The cellco invested CAPEX of BDT10.4 billion in the first three quarters of 2012, with Q3 CAPEX reaching BDT2.9 billion, down from BDT4.5 billion in the same quarter a year earlier.