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Bangladesh - Key Statistics, Telecom Market Overview and Forecasts

Bangladesh - Key Statistics, Telecom Market Overview and Forecasts

Bangladesh is one of the poorest, most densely populated, least developed countries in the world. Apart from its lowly economic status, major impediments to growth have included frequent cyclones and floods and the slow implementation of much-needed economic reforms. The country also has a reputation for the inefficiency of its state-owned enterprises. Strong growth of the mobile internet customer base is expected to continue into 2016 and 2017. In September 2015 Axiata Group and Bharti Airtel commenced merger discussions for their Bangladesh operations. The potential merger would boost the combined cellco to take second market place from Banglalink.

This report looks at the country's surprisingly energetic telecoms sector, in particular, the effort that has been going into building telecom infrastructure and the progress that has been made on regulatory reforms. Some key measures of the status of telecommunications in Bangladesh are also provided.

Key Developments:

the number of fixed-line operators has been greatly diminished, despite some revalidating' of licences;
The fixed line subscriber based continued to decline during 2015 and this trend will continue into 2016 and 2017;
e-services start to build as country pushes towards a Digital Bangladesh' by 2021;
The mobile subscriber base grew strongly by 11% for the 12 months to September 2015 to reach 131 million;
The mobile internet broadband and narrowband - customer base continues to grow strongly, reaching 32% penetration by September 2015;
after banning the selling of pre-activated SIM cards without proper subscriber identification, the BTRC continued to follow up with a strong enforcement policy;
the regulator issued a large number of new VoIP operator licences;
MoPT and MoICT merged in 2014 to form Ministry of Posts, Telecommunications & Information Technology (MPTIT).
In March 2015 the BTRC issued its new Directives on Service and Tariffs (2015)';
the directives included a requirement that regular telecoms products must be made available for at least 365 consecutive days.

Companies mentioned in this report:

Bangladesh Telecommunications Company Limited (BTCL); Peoples Telecom (formerly Bangladesh Rural Telecom Authority (BRTA)); GrameenPhone; CityCell (PBTL); Orascom Telecom Bangladesh (formerly Sheba Telecom); Banglalink; Robi (formerly Aktel); Teletalk (Bangladesh Telegraph and Telephone Board); Airtel Bangla (formerly Warid Telecom); Bangladesh Railway (BR); Power Grid Company Bangladesh (PGCB); Fibre @ Home; Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company Limited (BSCCL); Summit Communications.


1. Synopsis
2. Key statistics
3. Country overview
3.1 Background
3.2 Economy
4. Telecommunications market
4.1 Overview of Bangladesh's telecom market
4.2 National broadband initiative
4.3 Corruption inquiry
4.4 Background to development
5. Regulatory environment
5.1 Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (BTRC)
5.2 Ministry of Posts, Telecommunications & Information Technology
5.3 Telecommunications legislation - background
5.4 The National Telecommunications Policy of 1998 (NTP-98)
5.5 Telecommunications Act 2001
5.6 The Communications Convergence Bill 2001
5.7 The Telecommunication (Amendment) Bill 2010
5.8 Privatisation and liberalisation
5.8.1 Licensing in the fixed-line market
5.8.2 Expanded licensing regime
5.9 Regulatory developments
5.9.1 Surcharge on mobile usage
5.9.2 Tax on SIM replacement
5.9.3 Registration of SIM cards
5.9.4 Warnings to operators
5.9.5 Mandated broadband speed
5.9.6 Infrastructure sharing
5.9.7 VoIP licensing and regulation
5.9.8 BTRC audits operators
5.9.9 International Terrestrial Cable (ITC) licences
5.9.10 Temporary Blockage of Over-The-Top (OTT) providers
5.9.11 Directives on Service and Tariffs 2015
6. Telecommunications infrastructure
6.1 National telecom network
6.1.1 Overview
6.1.2 Statistics
6.1.3 Forecasts fixed-line market 2015; 2017; 2020
6.1.4 Fibre optic networks
6.1.5 Grameen Telecom's Village Project
6.2 International infrastructure
6.2.1 International Gateways
6.2.2 Satellite networks
6.2.3 Submarine cable connectivity
7. Fixed network operators in Bangladesh
7.1 Overview of operators
7.2 Shut-down of operators
7.3 Operator statistics
7.4 Bangladesh Telecommunications Company Limited (BTCL) - formerly Bangladesh Telegraph and Telephone Board (BTTB)
7.5 Peoples Telecom (Formerly Bangladesh Rural Telecommunications Authority)
7.6 Sheba Telecom
7.7 WorldTel
7.8 Dhaka Phone
8. Related reports
List of Tables, Charts and Exhibits
Table 1 Country statistics Bangladesh 2015
Table 2 Telecom revenue and investment statistics 2013
Table 3 Telephone network statistics 2014
Table 4 Internet user statistics 2014
Table 5 Mobile statistics September 2015
Table 6 National telecommunications authorities
Table 7 Bangladesh's GDP real growth rate 2005 - 2016
Table 8 Historical - fixed-line subscribers and teledensity 1995 - 2005
Table 9 Fixed-line subscribers and teledensity 2006 - 2015
Table 10 Forecast fixed line subscribers 2015; 2017; 2020
Table 11 Bangladesh optical fibre network - 2011
Table 12 Village Phones in Bangladesh 1998 2007; 2010 - 2014
Table 13 Fixed-line subscribers by operator 2010 2011; 2013 - 2015
Table 14 Fixed telephone line targets and teledensity 2010; 2025
Table 15 BTCL subscribers 2010 - 2015
Chart 1 Bangladesh fixed-line subscribers and teledensity 2006 - 2015
Exhibit 1 Operator licences in Bangladesh by licence category 2015

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