Robi hits 5cr subscriber milestone

The Daily Star  October 16, 2020

Robi Axiata has reached the milestone of five crore subscribers in a testament to the telecom operator’s growing influence in the local market.

“Reaching the five-crore milestone is an outcome of our consistent drive for digital innovation,” said Shahed Alam, chief corporate and regulatory officer of the carrier.

The development coincided with Robi Axiata’s initial public offering move to raise Tk 523.7 crore from the stock market in the country’s biggest IPO, overtaking Grameenphone’s flotation of Tk 486 crore in 2009.

“We look forward to turning the hopes and aspirations of our customers into reality by applying advanced digital technologies,” Alam told The Daily Star yesterday.

Robi is behind market leader Grameenphone, which had 7.6 crore active subscribers as of July, data from the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) showed.

Robi started its journey in 1997 under the brand name of Aktel. In 2009, the company’s name was changed to Axiata (Bangladesh) and in 2010, the company assumed its present name, Robi Axiata.

It merged with Airtel Bangladesh in 2016 to become the country’s second-largest telecom operator.

Robi disclosed the milestone at a press conference via a digital platform yesterday.

“We all take pride in Robi’s achievement,” said Mustafa Jabbar, post and telecommunication minister.

“I congratulate the company’s management, employees and business partners across the country on this tremendous accomplishment. I believe Robi is now standing on a strong foundation to contribute towards the national digital transformation journey.”

Md Jahurul Haque, chairman of the BTRC, said: “This achievement would increase the people’s expectation from Robi.”

Robi Managing Director Mahtab Uddin Ahmed said the country is moving towards a new economy, the digital economy, where people will realise their aspirations through digital means.

“And we are determined to be their partner on this journey by helping them reimagine life with the touch of technology.”

On the occasion, Robi and Airtel customers will receive 5 crore megabytes of data as a daily bonus if they purchase any data packs.

Customers can also enjoy 200 MB free data once by installing or logging into the country’s largest online school — Robi-10 Minute School app. The offers will be valid for a month.

Robi was the first operator to have launched 3.5G service in Bangladesh. In February 2018, it rolled out 4.5G service in all 64 districts and by the end of 2018, it had set up the largest 4.5G network in the country, the company said in a statement.

It is also the first local telecom operator to have introduced voice over long term evolution (VoLTE) technology to provide its 4G users with enhanced audio, better data usage and improved service.

In Bangladesh, Robi was the first operator to test 5G service on its network.

Axiata holds a 68.69 per cent stake in the company and Delhi-based Bharti Airtel owns the remaining 31.31 per cent share.

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