Bangladesh - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Executive summary

Mobile broadband subscriber growth gains momentum in Bangladesh

Bangladesh ranks among the most densely populated countries on the globe, but its fixed-line penetration remains the lowest in South Asia. About 80% of fixed telephone services are found in Bangladesh’s four main cities, while 80% of the population lived in rural villages.

Overall fixed line penetration dropped slightly from 2012 to 2017. The market is predicted to decline further over the next five years to 2022 as the mobile segment continues to grow for both voice and data/broadband usage.

In 2017 Bangladesh’s government undertook a project to extend fibre-optic connectivity. The project named ‘Establishment of ICT Network to Remote Areas (Connected Bangladesh)’ is expected to benefit 25-30% of the population.

The penetration of Internet users in Bangladesh remains very low by international standards however has grown very strongly over the past five years driven by strong growth in mobile broadband. Moderate growth is predicted over the next five years to 2022 as the penetration of mobile broadband is predicted to continue to increase.

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.

Bangladesh’s mobile market remains relatively under-developed however has experienced strong growth over the last five years. Slow to moderate growth is predicted over the next five years to 2022. The market will be constrained from higher growth due to very strong local competition.

Bangladesh has seen a very rapid increase in mobile broadband penetration over the past five years driven by a rising level of mobile subscribers. 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 2022.

Key Developments:

  • The merger of mobile operators Robi Axiata and Airtel Bangladesh has been completed.
  • Overall fixed line penetration dropped slightly from 2012 to 2017.
  • Robi and Ericsson jointly ran trials of 4G LTE technology in the capital Dhaka.
  • Bangladesh’s mobile market remains relatively under-developed however has experienced strong growth over the last five years.
  • Slow to moderate growth is of mobile subscribers is predicted over the next five years to 2022.

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

  • 1. Executive summary
  • 2. Key statistics
  • 3. Country overview
    • 3.1 Background
  • 4. Telecommunications market
    • 4.1 Market Overview and Analysis
    • 4.2 Background
  • 5. Regulatory Environment
    • 5.1 Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (BTRC)
    • 5.2 Ministry of Posts, Telecommunications & Information Technology
    • 5.3 Telecommunications Act 2001
    • 5.4 The Communications Convergence Bill 2001
    • 5.5 The Telecommunication (Amendment) Bill 2010
    • 5.6 Expanded licensing regime
    • 5.7 Regulatory developments
      • 5.7.1 Surcharge on mobile usage
      • 5.7.2 Tax on SIM replacement
      • 5.7.3 Registration of SIM cards
      • 5.7.4 Mandated broadband speed
      • 5.7.5 Infrastructure sharing
      • 5.7.6 International Terrestrial Cable (ITC) licences
      • 5.7.7 Temporary Blockage of Over-The-Top (OTT) providers
      • 5.7.8 Directives on Service and Tariffs 2015
    • 5.8 Cyber laws
  • 6. Fixed network operators
    • 6.1 Overview
    • 6.2 Bangladesh Telecommunications Company Limited (BTCL)
    • 6.3 Fixed broadband service providers
      • 6.3.1 Overview
      • 6.3.2 Grameen Cybernet
      • 6.3.3 InTech Online
      • 6.3.4 AlwaysOn
      • 6.3.5 RanksTel
  • 7. Telecommunications infrastructure
    • 7.1 Overview of the national telecom network
    • 7.2 Fixed-line statistics and Market Forecast
    • 7.3 Fibre Networks
    • 7.4 Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP)
    • 7.5 New developments
      • 7.5.1 Next Generation Network (NGN)
      • 7.5.2 National Internet Exchange (NIX) licences
      • 7.5.3 Grameen Telecom’s Village Project
    • 7.6 International infrastructure
      • 7.6.1 Satellite
      • 7.6.2 Submarine
      • 7.6.3 International Gateways
    • 7.7 Specific IT developments
      • 7.7.1 Cloud Computing
  • 8. Fixed-line broadband market
    • 8.1 Introduction
    • 8.2 Internet market
    • 8.3 Broadband statistics with Market Forecast
    • 8.4 Fixed-line broadband technologies
      • 8.4.1 Wireless broadband
      • 8.4.2 Background
      • 8.4.3 WiMAX licensing
      • 8.4.4 Operations
      • 8.4.5 Network expansions and roll-outs
      • 8.4.6 WiFi
  • 9. Mobile market
    • 9.1 Mobile Statistics and Market Forecast
    • 9.2 Mobile Broadband and Market Forecast
    • 9.3 Mobile Regulatory issues
      • 9.3.1 Surcharge on mobile usage
      • 9.3.2 Blackberry blocked
      • 9.3.3 SIM registration
      • 9.3.4 Spectrum
      • 9.3.5 MNP
      • 9.3.6 Licensing
  • 10. Mobile infrastructure
  • 11. Major mobile operators
    • 11.1 Operator Statistics
    • 11.2 CityCell (PBTL)
    • 11.3 GrameenPhone
      • 11.3.1 Overview
    • 11.4 Banglalink
    • 11.5 Robi
      • 11.5.1 Merger
      • 11.5.2 Robi Axiata
      • 11.5.3 Airtel Bangladesh
    • 11.6 Teletalk
  • 12. Digital economy
    • 12.1 Digital Bangladesh - 2021
  • 13. Digital Media
    • 13.1 Overview of broadcasting market
    • 13.2 Communications: VoIP, messaging, conferencing
      • 13.2.1 VoIP
  • 14. Related reports
  • Table 1 – Country statistics Bangladesh – 2017 (e)
  • Table 2 – Telephone network statistics – 2017 (e)
  • Table 3 – Internet user statistics – 2017 (e)
  • Table 4 – Broadband statistics – 2017 (e)
  • Table 5 – Mobile statistics – 2017 (e)
  • Table 6 – National telecommunications authorities
  • Table 7 – Bangladesh’s GDP real growth rate – 2005 - 2017
  • Table 8 – Key Metrics - Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) - 2017 - 2022
  • Table 9 – Historic - Fixed-line subscribers by operator – 2010 – 2011; 2013 - 2015
  • Table 10 – BTCL subscribers – 2010 - 2016
  • Table 11 – Fixed Line Subscriptions and Penetration (with Forecast) – 2007 - 2022
  • Table 12 – Historic - fixed-line subscribers and teledensity – 1995 - 2011
  • Table 13 – Bangladesh optical fibre network
  • Table 14 – Historic - FttP broadband subscribers – 2009 - 2016
  • Table 15 – Historic - Village Phones in Bangladesh – 1998 – 2007; 2010 - 2014
  • Table 16 – Internet Users and Penetration (with Forecast) – 2007 - 2022
  • Table 17 – Fixed Broadband Subscribers (with Forecast) – 2007 - 2022
  • Table 18 – Historic Total international internet bandwidth – 1998 - 2006
  • Table 19 – Total international internet bandwidth – 2007 - 2017
  • Table 20 – WiMAX subscribers – 2012 - 2017
  • Table 21 – Mobile Subscribers and Penetration (with Forecast) – 2007 - 2022
  • Table 22 – Historical - Mobile subscribers – 1996 - 2005
  • Table 23 – Historic - Mobile services monthly ARPU – 1998 - 2016
  • Table 24 – Mobile Broadband Subscribers and Penetration (with Forecast) – 2009 - 2022
  • Table 25 – Percentage of Population Covered by Type of Mobile Network
  • Table 26 – Mobile subscribers by system
  • Table 27 – Mobile Subscriber Market Share by Operator – 2017
  • Table 28 – CityCell mobile subscribers – 1999 - 2017
  • Table 29 – GrameenPhone mobile subscribers – 1998 - 2017
  • Table 30 – Banglalink mobile subscribers – 2002 - 2017
  • Table 31 – Robi Axiata mobile subscribers – 2005 - 2017
  • Table 32 – Airtel Bangladesh subscribers – 2007 – 20171
  • Table 33 – Teletalk mobile subscribers – 2005 - 2017
  • Table 34 – Key broadcasting statistics
  • Chart 3 – Fixed Line Subscriptions and Penetration (with Forecast) – 2007 - 2022
  • Chart 4 – Internet Users and Penetration (with Forecast) - 2007 - 2022
  • Chart 5 – Fixed Broadband Subscribers (with Forecast) – 2007 - 2022
  • Chart 6 – Percentage of Households with Internet Access at Home (with Forecast) - 2007 - 2022
  • Chart 7 – Percentage of Households with a Computer (with Forecast) - 2007 - 2022
  • Chart 8 – Mobile Subscribers and Penetration (with Forecast) – 2007 - 2022
  • Chart 9 – Mobile Subscribers and Penetration (with Forecast) – 2009 - 2022
  • Chart 10 – Mobile Subscriber Market Share by Operator – 2017
  • Exhibit 1 – Operator licences in Bangladesh by licence category
  • Exhibit 2 – Licensed wireless broadband access (WBA) operators in Bangladesh – 2014
  • Exhibit 3 – Mobile operators in Bangladesh

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