Mobile subscribers reach 9 crore

The number of mobile phone subscribers in the country reached the 9 crore-mark in April.

Latest data of Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission showed that the total number of active subscribers of six mobile phone operators reached 90.64 million or 9.06 crore at the end of April as they enlisted 1.18 million users in the month.

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The growth in subscribers in the first 10 months (July-April) of the current fiscal year, however, declined to 18.58 per cent from 23.68 per cent in the same period of the previous fiscal year despite the the rate of SIM tax was reduced in July 2011.

The government in the current budget decreased the SIM tax to Tk 600 from Tk 800 amid hectic lobbying by the mobile operators and other stakeholders who claimed that tax reduction would net in more subscribers.

The operators are now pushing the government for further cuts in the tax in the budget for the coming fiscal year claiming that the ‘high tax’ was hindering the growth of mobile subscribers, said officials at the telecommunications ministry.

According to BTRC data, the total subscribers of Grameenphone, Banglalink, Robi, Airtel, Citycell and state-run Teletalk grew by 14.20 million in July-April which is 18.58 per cent higher than the figure of July-April in FY2010-11.

The operators enlisted 14.21 million subscribers in the 10 months of FY 2010-11 with a growth of 23.68 per cent year-on-year.

Grameenphone continued to lead the market with its subscriber base reaching 37.75 million in April as it added 0.12 million subscribers in the month.

The number of subscribers of Banglalink reached 25.01 million in April with the operator adding 0.27 million subscribers in the month.

Robi added 0.579 million subscribers in April taking its user base to 18.24 million while the total number of subscribers of Airtel reached 6.54 million with the addition of 0.19 million users in April.

The lone CDMA operator Citycell added only 15,000 users in April as its subscriber base reached 1.80 million.

The number of Teletalk users was 1.29 million at the end of April as it enlisted only 10,000 subscribers in the month.

A BTRC official said that the calculation of the number of mobile subscribers was based on the connections that were active.

The number of users, however, might be lower as many subscribers use multiple connections.

He said that the mobile growth was slightly slower in recent months as the operators were concentrating more on providing data service.

News Source: 
The New Age