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. 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 fixed-line market initially recovered after the setback following the government clampdown on illegal VoIP operations;
- a number of cancelled fixed-line licences had also been ‘revalidated’;
- by 2013, however, fixed-line subscriber numbers had ‘flattened out’ with limited growth prospects;
- mobile penetration had grown to 72% by September 2013;
- the 100 million mobile subscriber milestone had been reached in 2013;
- new licences awarded for building and maintaining a common telecoms transmission network;
- e-services start to build as country drives towards a ‘Digital Bangladesh’ by 2021;
- the BTRC followed its decision to ban selling pre-activated SIM cards without proper subscriber identification with strong enforcement policy;
- the BTRC has implemented ten-second pulse call charging regime;
- the regulator prepares for issuing of new VoIP operator licences.
Companies covered in this report include:
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.