"Bangladesh - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband" now available at Fast Market Research


Fast Market Research recommends "Bangladesh - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband" from BuddeComm, now available


[USPRwire, Thu Feb 25 2016] With slowing mobile growth Bangladesh looks to 3G for action

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.

In this context the telecom sector certainly has its challenges. But progress is being achieved. After deregulation of the mobile market and the entry of two new operators (bringing the total number of mobile providers to five) in 2005, Bangladesh witnessed a boom period in mobile subscriber numbers. While overall growth has slowed somewhat over the last two or three years, the market continues to expand in a healthy fashion. The issuing of 3G licences by auction in 2013 and the subsequent launch of 3G networks has given a huge boost to the mobile/internet segment. Foreign investment interest has also continued to be high. Strong growth of the mobile internet customer base is expected to continue into 2016 and 2017. LTE services are expected to be launched by 2017. In September 2015 Axiata Group and Bharti Airtel commenced merger discussions for their Bangladesh operations. The potential merger would boost the combined cellco to take second market place from Banglalink.

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The strong growth in mobiles has certainly been helped by the deregulation of the country's telecom sector. The rapid uptake of mobile services was no doubt at the expense of the struggling fixed-line sector, with low levels of teledensity and general shortcomings in fixed network infrastructure. Despite a progressive regulatory regime, the country was slow to move forward with 3G mobile services. The first 3G licence in the country was awarded to Teletalk, the state-owned operator launching a pilot 3G offering in 2012. The 3G licensing process for private operators was meant to follow quickly but became bogged down. The planned auction was finally held in September 2013. Four operators - GrameenPhone Banglalink, Robi Axiata and Bharti Airtel - acquired 3G spectrum in the auction, setting the scene for further developments in the market place. The operators moved quickly to launch their respective offerings and by July 2014 there were around 5 million 3G subscribers in total.

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