Bangladesh - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Mobile broadband continues to drive the Bangladesh telco market

Bangladesh ranks among the most densely populated countries on the globe, but its fixed-line penetration remains the lowest in South Asia.

The fixed line market in Bangladesh remains highly underdeveloped due to the dominance of the mobile segment. Further, the number of fixed telephone lines is slowly declining as the mobile segment and in particular the mobile broadband segment continues to expand.

Fixed broadband penetration in Bangladesh remains very low mainly due to the dominance of the mobile platform. Also, the limited and declining number of fixed lines is restricting more widespread development of fixed broadband. The ECNEC has approved the revival of the NGN modernisation project to be undertaken by Bangladesh Telecommunications Company Limited (BTCL). Over the next five years to 2023 strong growth is expected to continue.

Bangladesh’s mobile market remains relatively under-developed however has experienced strong growth over the last six years.

The mobile market has seen significant market consolidation over the past few years with the merger of Robi Axiata and Airtel Bangladesh. Also, mobile operator CityCell was forced out of the market, reducing the market to just four major mobile operators by 2018.

In July 2018 the first test run of 5G technology in Bangladesh took place in Dhaka. The demonstration aimed to show how a 5G ecosystem can be cultivated in the ‘Digital Bangladesh’ project.

Slow to moderate mobile subscriber growth is predicted over the next five years to 2023. The market will be constrained from higher growth due to very strong local competition.

In 2018 the BTRC issued a directive on allowing Internet of Things (IoT) for smart buildings, automation industries and some other city services that will help to establish a smart city.

Bangladesh has seen a very rapid increase in mobile broadband penetration over the past five years driven by a rising level of mobile subscribers with faster download speeds on 4G networks. However, the mobile broadband market is still at an early stage of development with penetration well below most other Asian countries. Strong growth is predicted over the next five years to 2023. The mobile broadband market will be driven by increasingly faster speeds offered by the mobile operators as they further roll out their 4G networks and eventually launch 5G networks.

Key Developments:

  • The mobile market has seen significant market consolidation over the past few years.
  • The first test run of 5G technology in Bangladesh took place in Dhaka.
  • The BTRC issued a directive on allowing IoT for smart buildings and automation industries.
  • Overall fixed line penetration dropped slightly from 2013 to 2018.
  • Strong growth is of mobile broadband subscribers is predicted over the next five years.

Companies mentioned in this report:

Bangladesh Telecommunications Company Limited (BTCL); GrameenPhone; CityCell (PBTL); Banglalink; Robi; Teletalk; Airtel Bangladesh; Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company Limited (BSCCL).

Table of Contents

  • Key Statistics

  • Country Overview

    • Background
  • Telecommunications Market

    • Market Overview and Analysis
    • Regional Asian Market Comparison
    • Background
  • Regulatory Environment

    • Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (BTRC)
    • Ministry of Posts, Telecommunications & Information Technology
    • Telecommunications Act 2001
    • The Communications Convergence Bill 2001
    • The Telecommunication (Amendment) Bill 2010
    • Expanded Licensing Regime
    • Infrastructure Sharing
    • Directives on Service and Tariffs 2015
    • Cyber Laws
  • Fixed Network Operators

    • Overview
    • Bangladesh Telecommunications Company Limited (BTCL)
    • Fixed Broadband Service Providers
      • Overview
      • Grameen Cybernet
      • InTech Online
      • AlwaysOn
      • RanksTel
  • Telecommunications Infrastructure

    • Overview of the National Telecom Network
    • Fibre Networks
    • Fibre-To-The-Premises (FTTP)
    • Next Generation Network (NGN)
    • National Internet Exchange (NIX) Licenses
    • Grameen Telecom’s Village Project
    • International Infrastructure
      • Satellite
      • Submarine
      • International gateways
    • Smart Infrastructure
      • Internet of things
  • Fixed-Line Broadband Market

    • Background
    • Broadband Statistics with Market Forecast
    • Fixed-Line Broadband Technologies
      • Wireless broadband – Background
      • WiMAX and Wireless Broadband rollouts
      • WiFi
  • Mobile Market

    • Mobile Statistics and Market Forecast
    • Mobile Broadband and Market Forecast
    • Mobile Regulatory Issues
      • Surcharge on mobile usage
      • Blackberry blocked
      • SIM registration
      • Spectrum
      • Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
      • Licensing
    • Mobile Infrastructure
      • 3G
      • 4G
      • 5G
      • Other Developments
    • Major Mobile Operators
      • Operator Statistics
      • Grameenphone
      • Banglalink
      • Robi
      • Teletalk
      • Historic - Citycell (PBTL)
  • Digital Economy

    • Digital Bangladesh – 2021
    • e-Payments
    • e-Commerce
    • m-Commerce
  • Digital Media

    • Broadcasting Market
    • VoIP
  • Related Reports


List of Tables

  • Table 1 – Top Level Country Statistics and Telco Authorities – 2018 (e)
  • Table 2 – Key Metrics - Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) - 2018 - 2023
  • Table 3 – Historic - Fixed-line subscribers by operator – 2010 – 2011; 2013 – 2015
  • Table 4 – Historic - BTCL subscribers – 2010 – 2016
  • Table 5 – Fixed Line Subscriptions and Penetration – 2007 – 2018
  • Table 6 – Historic - fixed-line subscribers and penetration – 1995 – 2006
  • Table 7 – Historic - Bangladesh optical fibre network – 2016
  • Table 8 – Historic - FttP broadband subscribers – 2009 – 2016
  • Table 9 – Historic - Village Phones in Bangladesh – 1998 – 2007; 2010 – 2014
  • Table 10 – Fixed Broadband Subscribers (with Forecast) – 2007 – 2023
  • Table 11 – Internet Users and Penetration – 2007 – 2018
  • Table 12 – Total international internet bandwidth – 2007 – 2018
  • Table 13 – Lit/Equipped International Bandwidth Capacity – 2015 – 2018
  • Table 14 – Historic Total international internet bandwidth – 1998 – 2006
  • Table 15 – WiMAX subscribers – 2012 – 2018
  • Table 16 – Mobile Subscribers and Penetration (with Forecast) – 2007 – 2023
  • Table 17 – Historic - Mobile subscribers – 1996 – 2005
  • Table 18 – Historic - Mobile services monthly ARPU – 1998 – 2016
  • Table 19 – Mobile Broadband Subscribers and Penetration (with Forecast) – 2009 – 2023
  • Table 20 – Percentage of Population Covered by Type of Mobile Network
  • Table 21 – Mobile subscribers by system
  • Table 22 – Mobile Subscriber Market Share by Operator – 2018
  • Table 23 – GrameenPhone mobile subscribers – 1998 – 2018
  • Table 24 – Banglalink mobile subscribers – 2002 – 2018
  • Table 25 – Robi Axiata mobile subscribers – 2005 – 2018
  • Table 26 – Historic - Airtel Bangladesh subscribers – 2007 – 20171
  • Table 27 – Teletalk mobile subscribers – 2005 – 2018
  • Table 28 – Historic - CityCell mobile subscribers – 1999 – 2016

List of Charts

  • Chart 1 – Mobile, Mobile Broadband & Fixed Broadband Penetration – 2018; 2023
  • Chart 2 – Asian Telecoms Maturity Index by Market Category
  • Chart 3 – Asian Telecoms Maturity Index vs GDP per Capita
  • Chart 4 –Telecoms Maturity Index – Central Asia
  • Chart 5 – Fixed Line Subscriptions and Penetration – 2007 – 2018
  • Chart 6 – Fixed Broadband Subscribers (with Forecast) – 2007 – 2023
  • Chart 7 – Internet Users and Penetration – 2007 – 2018
  • Chart 8 – Mobile Subscribers and Penetration (with Forecast) – 2007 – 2023
  • Chart 9 – Mobile Subscribers and Penetration (with Forecast) – 2009 – 2023

List of Exhibits

  • Exhibit 1 – Key Market Characteristics by Market Segment
  • Exhibit 2 – Central Asia -Key Characteristics of Telecoms Markets by Country
  • Exhibit 3 – Licensed wireless broadband access (WBA) operators in Bangladesh – 2014
  • Exhibit 4 – Mobile operators in Bangladesh

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