News From Telecom World

Cell phones growth drops in Aug

Posted on: September 21, 2008

The growth of cell phone companies dropped in August, first time in Bangladesh, due to economic slowdown, officials said on Thursday (18 Sept ‘08).

They said the number of new subscribers in August fell by half a million compared to that of July.

“Six cell phone operators managed to add 600,000 customers in August against 1.1 million in July this year,” a senior official of the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) said.

He said the new addition, however, raised the total number of mobile phone subscribers in the country to 45.4 million in August.

Banglalink, the second cell phone operator, however, surpassed 10 million customers’ mark in August.

The company termed aggressive network expansion and right kind of strategy for it success.

“We are happy with our success. Aggressive expansion of network and right kind of market promotion strategies helped us achieve the growth,” Solaiman Alam, a director of Banglalink told.

He, however, said the growth of the industry, which was faster in the past years, will continue to slump in the coming months due to economic slow down of the country.

Khalid Hasan, secretary general of the Association of Mobile Operators in Bangladesh, also said: “Economic slowdown hit the growth of the mobile industry.”

The number of new subscriber, however, came down to 0.56million in July compared to the previous month. In June the six cell phone operators added 1.66million customers.

According to BTRC data, the top three operators, however, maintained their usual growth, Grameenphone holds the top position in the market with 20.84 million customers, followed by Egyptian Orascom Telecom’s Banglalink 10.17 million and AKTEL 8.14 million as of August.

The number of Citycell customers reached 1.68million in July, which was 1.67 million in June. The number of State-run TeleTalk subscribers was 1.07million customers in June, it fell to 0.93million in July and 0.89 million in August.

Banglalink maintained its usual trend by adding 0.27 million (0.44million in July) customers in August followed by AKTEL’s 0.16 million (0.13million in July).

The Grameenphone that added 0.53million customers in July said its customer base remained unchanged to previous month’s total of 20.84 million also in August due to adjustment of non-registered customers.

Grameenphone CEO Anders Jensen told: “It is due to a general market slowdown, stricter compliance on proper registration by Grameenphone and adjustment of non-registered customers barred after the BTRC deadline ended.”

Of the bottom three, Warid Telecom gained a lot, gaining 0.2 million (0.17 million in July) customers followed by Citycell’s 0.2 million in August.

TeleTalk’s subscriber figure fell 0.03 million in the previous month from that in July.

Some industry insiders, however, said the mobile phone subscribers’ base will strengthen slightly this month as operators offer cheaper festival packages to woo new buyers ahead of the Eid.

But they expressed doubt over reaching 50million subscriber’s base by the year-end as projected.

Source: Financial Express

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