Number of the country’s active mobile phone users has crossed 70 million landmark at the end of January, 2011 but overall monthly growth rate slowed, state data revealed. Bangladesh Telecommu-nication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) on Tuesday released the monthly update of cell phone subscribers’ number, revealed that the country’s six operating mobile phone operators have 70.34 million active users till January 2011.
The first month of 2011 has added 1.69 million new mobile users with 68.64 million subscribers’ base recorded at the end of December 2010. Growth in January was considerably slower than its previous month’s data of 2.024 million, BTRC released data revealed.
Maintaining absolute domination over the country’s cell phone subscriber base, Grameen Phone – the local concern of the Norwegian mobile operating giant Telenor, has reached 30 million users’ mark at 30.42 million, adding 0.45 million new users within the month.
Egyptian Orascom Telecom’s Banglalink retained the second spot adding 0.711 million clients in last one month. The number of Banglalink users reached 20.038 million till January 2011.
Joining together, GP and Banglalink holds 50.47 million subscribers till January of this year, contributed 72 per cent of the country’s total cell phone subscribers base.
Robi, formerly known as AKTEL, owned by Axiata (Bangladesh) Ltd, remained in the third position with 12.62 million customers. It added 0.26 million subscribers in January.
Airtel Bangladesh Limited (Airtel) and Pacific Bangladesh Telecom Limited (Citycell) posted 4.18 million and 1.858 million users, added 0.228 million and 0.047 million subscribers accordingly.
The state-run TeleTalk not only remained at bottom place with 1.204 million customers but also suffered a fall in subscriber base in January 2011. Number of TeleTalk users dropped by 0.007 from 1.211 million recorded at the end of December 2010.
Responding to an inquiry, a top official of the country’s leading telecom operators said that the complication in licence renewal and extraordinary renewal fees proposed by BRTC have frustrated operators and could slowdown immediate investment, vital for innovative services and to attract fresh subscribers.