Bangladesh adds 1.66 mln mobile phone users in June

Bangladesh adds 1.66 mln mobile phone users in June

DHAKA, July 13 (Reuters) – Bangladesh’s six mobile phone operators signed up a total 1.66 million new subscribers in June, lifting the user base to 43.70 million in one of the Asia’s fastest-growing cellular markets, telecoms regulator data showed on Sunday.

Top mobile phone company Grameenphone, majority owned by Norway’s Telenor (TEL.OL: Quote, Profile, Research), raised its subscriber base to 20.31 million in June from 19.58 million a month ago.

No. 2 player Egyptian Orascom Telecom’s ORTE.CA Banglalink signed up 470,000 new users in June to take its total to 9.46 million.

Third-ranked Aktel, majority owned by Telekom Malaysia International (TLMM.KL: Quote, Profile, Research), added 140,000 users, taking its user base to 7.85 million at end-June.

Warid Telecom International of the United Arab Emirates, which launched Bangladesh operations in May 2007, ended June with 3.31 million from 3.13 million users.

The only CDMA carrier CityCell, a joint venture between Pacific Bangladesh Telecom Limited and Singapore Telecommunication (STEL.SI: Quote, Profile, Research), grew to 1.70 million users in June from 1.64 million in May.

State-owned Teletalk’s user base stood at 1.07 million in June.

The number of mobile users rose nearly 58 percent in 2007 to 34.4 million, the Bangladesh Telecom Regulatory Commission said, helped by competitive tariffs and cheap handsets.

Impoverished Bangladesh has the lowest average monthly cost for mobile telephone use at all levels of use — low, medium, and high — for prepaid and postpaid tariff plans, according to a recent report titled ‘Mobile Benchmark Studies in South Asia and Latin America’.

Mobile phone services are an important contributor to the cash-strapped nation’s economy. Several market surveys have forecast the number of mobile phone users will be around 70 million at the end of 2011.

The country has just 1.27 million land-line phone customers. (Reporting by Ruma Paul; Editing by Quentin Bryar)


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