Subscriber totals dip after pre-paid registration crackdown

29 Nov 2012

Bangladesh’s total number of mobile users fell from 98.5 million in September 2012 to 98.3 million at the end of last month, the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) reported, after the regulator imposed a strict ban on selling pre-activated SIM cards to unregistered customers on 12 October. Because of the crackdown on registering users’ identities, the largest cellco, GrameenPhone, lost a net 267,000 subscribers in a month while second-biggest operator Banglalink suffered a 155,000 net reduction in user base, reports the Financial Express. Syed Tahmed Azizul Huq, acting chief communication officer of GrameenPhone, confirmed to the newspaper that the negative growth was a result of the introduction of the strict ‘post-activation’ process added to ‘natural churn’. Third-placed cellco Robi managed to increase its user base by 316,000 in October, the BTRC reported, which a Robi official attributed to ‘different kinds of promotional activities in the last few months’. According to the regulator’s figures, Airtel Bangladesh’s customers fell by 9,000 in a month, CityCell’s users declined by 55,000 and Teletalk achieved a slight net increase of 1,000.

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