• Sunday, Jul 03, 2022
  • Last Update : 04:24 pm

Mobile, internet users surge amid lockdown

  • Published at 06:05 pm May 5th, 2021
mobile phone

This puts the tally of total mobile subscribers in the country to 17.46 crore, up from 17.33 crore in February

A total of 1.27 million new mobile subscribers and 3.43 million new internet subscribers have been added to the country's total subscriber base in March earlier this year.

This puts the tally of total mobile subscribers in the country to 17.46 crore, up from 17.33 crore in February.

Among the mobile operators, Robi Axiata added the most subscribers, with 425,000 new subscribers, putting their new total to 5.19 crore.

Grameenphone followed in second, increasing its base by 360,000, taking their tally to 8.075 crore.

Banglalink also drew 330,000 subscribers in the same month. Now its subscriber base is 3.625 crore.

State-owned Teletalk also fared well amid the Covid-19 pandemic, as it welcomed 158,000 new subscribers to its network. Its total mobile subscriber base stands at 5.69 million.

Meanwhile, internet subscribers base increased to 11.61 crore at the end of March, which was 11.27 crore in February earlier this year, according to Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) data.

Mobile internet subscribers also increased to 10.633 crore from 10.3193 crore, with subscribers of internet service providers (ISPs) and public switched telephone numbers (PSTN) increasing to 9.81 million from 9.52 million.

Also Read - Grameenphone lost 9 lakh subscribers in January

A subscriber is counted after being verified using the biometric system and who has any activity (voice, data, SMS) at least once in the preceding 90 days.

Industry insiders attributed the rise to the ongoing lockdown amid the Covid-19 pandemic, as people resorted to using their smartphones after their outdoor movement became restricted.

“We are happy to see a positive trend in customer acquisition from the latest figure of active subscribers published by BTRC. The fact that such a satisfactory level of acquisition happened in the middle of the pandemic, is all the more encouraging,” said Shahed Alam, chief corporate and regulatory officer of Robi Axiata.

Also Read - Everyone in Bangladesh now has a mobile connection

Grameenphone’s Head of External Communications Md Hasan said: “We have achieved a momentous milestone by upgrading all our 15,590 towers to 4G in March which helped us to boost customer experience.”

"In addition, we have removed the distinction between 3G and 4G data offers, and ensure the right product reaches the right customers, which contributes in maintaining a healthy sub-base growth in March," he added.

Ankit Sureka, head of corporate communications and sustainability, Banglalink said: "Our overall internet customer base grew by 5.2% YoY and data usage increased by 44.9% YoY in Q1 2021. We remained focused on providing superior data experiences to customers, and as a result, won two consecutive Ookla Speed Test Awards last year. On top of that, our newly acquired 10.4MHz spectrum helped us retain the top position among private operators in terms of spectrum per customer, which will be instrumental in our 4G network expansion as well."

Secretary General of Internet Service Providers Association Bangladesh (ISPAB) Emdadul Hoque said that both the usages and internet subscribers increased as employees, officials, students etc are mostly working from home.

The demand is increasing and will double soon, he added.

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