Mobile phone subscription has crossed 75 million, according to the country’s telecoms regulator.
Grameenphone had 33.261 million, Banglalink 20.047 million, Robi 14.350 million, Airtel 4.911 million, Citycell 1.747 million and Teletalk 1.166 million subscribers at the end of May, according to Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC).
Abu Saeed Khan, secretary general of Association of Mobile Telecom Operators of Bangladesh, said there is nothing to celebrate about the current subscription growth. “The whole industry is plagued with many policy impediments,” he said.
The market achieved the growth after dealing with a lot of barriers, Khan said.
He listed the barriers: SIM tax, uncertainty over licence renewal, spectrum management, technology-neutrality issue, sectoral and non-sectoral taxation.
“The growth could be much more,” Khan said, adding the investors are keen to invest here. “And the government’s job is to allure them.”
The industry insiders said the high SIM tax has slowed subscription growth. Currently, the operators are paying Tk 800 for every SIM, excluding 15 percent VAT, to the state coffers. For fiscal 2011-12, the government has proposed Tk 600 in SIM tax.
-With The Daily Star input