The internet came late to Bangladesh with the country gaining connectivity in 1996. In the last few years it has grown considerably, although obviously from a very low base. With an estimated internet user-base of around 10 million coming into 2013, representing just under 7% user penetration by population, the local internet industry has been preparing to move into the next stage of its development. As this report demonstrates, however, the country must work hard to overcome obstacles associated with the country’s lowly economic status and still developing ICT infrastructure, not least of which being an overly bureaucratic government. The report also looks briefly at very early signs of broadband internet in Bangladesh and, importantly, the country’s first moves into WiMAX and mobile broadband services.
The focus starts to build on the country developing into ‘Digital Bangladesh’ by 2021 with this strategy providing a boost to infrastructure; mobile internet services have been giving a much needed boost to internet access; fixed broadband services, however, continue to struggle; rapid early growth in WiMAX services after operators launch; regulator continues to take strong stand against illegal VoIP services; the BTRC prepares to open market for more VoIP operator licences.