Mobile user growth picks up again

Mobile user growth picks up again
Total subscribers reach 6.66cr in November
Aminul Islam

The growth in the number of mobile subscribers picked up again in November as the country’s six operators added 10.58 lakh new subscribers while the state-run Teletalk again went back to losing track.

The total number of active mobile subscribers increased to 66.62 million or 6.66 crore at the end of November from 65.56 million or around 6.56 crore in October, according to data released by Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission on Thursday.

The number of active mobile subscribers increased by only 4.23 lakh in October, whereas the six operators netted 16.70 lakh subscribers in September, 16.30 lakh in August and 18.60 lakh in July.

The leading operator GrameenPhone, which lost 1.67 lakh subscribers in October, added 3.56 lakh subscribers in November to take its subscribers base to 2.88 crore in the month from 2.85 crore in October.

State-run Teletalk, which added 41,000 subscribers in October to take its subscriber base to 12.24 lakh, lost 20,000 subscribers in November.

The second largest operator, Banglalink, continued to be leader in netting subscribers for the second month by adding 4.35 lakh customers in November after it added 3.01 lakh customers in October.

The total number of Banglalink subscribers reached to 1.88 crore in November from 1.84 crore in October.

An official of the BTRC said that the calculation of the number of mobile subscribers was based on the connections that were active. ‘The number of connections, however, does not necessarily mean that the country had 6.66 crore mobile subscribers as many of the consumers, especially young people, use multiple SIMs,’ he said.

He said that the addition of subscribers was low in October because of Eid festival.

‘The number of subscriber increased in November as the mobile operators went for vigorous campaign or advertisement ahead of the entry of Indian Airtel in the Bangladesh market,’ he said adding that the mobile operators had started competition to lure subscribers by giving bonus talk times, SMS and mobile phones.

The Bharti-Airtel officially re-branded Warid telecom to Airtel on December 20 after the Indian company acquired 70 per cent stake of Warid a few months back.

Airtel, previously Warid, added 1.31 lakh subscribers in November with its total number of subscribers reaching 37.97 lakh from 36.66 lakh in October.

Robi, the third largest operator, added 2.14 lakh subscribers to take its subscriber base to 1.20 crore.

The lone CDMA operator, Citycell, however, lost 60,000 subscribers in November when its total number of clients reached to 18.73 lakh from 19.33 lakh in October.


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