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.
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.
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