The number of active mobile subscribers rose by 1.34 crore in 2015 with a 103.62-per cent growth compared with that in the previous year due mainly to a rapid expansion of internet use in the country.
In 2014, country’s mobile phone operators had added only 65.66 lakh new subscribers in a disappointing year, following a 1.66-crore growth in 2013, due to political unrest and uncertainty surrounding the one-sided national elections in January 2014.
By the end of December 2015, the total number of subscribers of the six operators reached 13.37 crore from 12.03 crore in December 2014, according to the latest data of Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission.
Mobile operators said relative calm on the political front, expansion of 3G network coverage and availability of low-priced smartphones helped the mobile subscribers’ growth rebound in 2015.
The number of internet users in the country rose by 1.04 crore in 2015, of which 93 lakh were mobile internet subscribers.
The BTRC data showed that the number of internet users reached 5.41 crore in 2015 from 4.36 crore in 2014 while the number of mobile internet users stood at 5.14 crore by the end of 2015 against 4.17 crore in the previous year.
‘The increase in the subscribers’ number in 2015 was the effect of 3G network expansion over the year. Through faster data service the mobile operators attracted more users,’ Grameenphone chief corporate affairs officer Mahmud Hossain told New Age when asked about the rise in the subscribers’ number.
‘As long as Grameenphone is concerned, we have introduced a number of innovative packages and services which contributed to our growth,’ he said.
Robi vice-president (communications and corporate responsibilities) Ekram Kabir said that an increase in purchasing power of the people had contributed to the rise in mobile users.
‘GDP and GNI per capita have increased by 11 per cent which means consumers’ affordability has increased. The industry also laid huge effort to minimise the digital divide and to increase rural penetration,’ he said.
He also said Robi’s effort to bring internet.org also helped people to get engaged with the digital life.
Except Citycell, all other five mobile operators witnessed growth in their subscribers’ number.
Leading operator Grameenphone added 51 lakh new subscribers in 2015 that took its subscriber base to 5.66 crore in December.
Banglalink’s subscriber base reached to 3.28 crore in last year as the operator added 19 lakh new subscribers in the year.
Robi added 31 lakh new subscribers in 2015 that took its subscriber base to 2.83 crore in December.
Airtel’s subscriber base reached to 1.07 crore in last year as the operator added 32 lakh new subscribers in the year.
Citycell lost 2.86 lakh subscribers over the last one year that pushed down its subscriber base to 10.07 lakh.
State-run Teletalk added 2.83 lakh new subscribers in 2015 that took its subscriber base to 41.43 lakh.
Source: New Age