The telecom industry of Bangladesh has entered a phase of growing competition. Even though Bangladesh is regarded as one of the poorest, and a heavily populated country, it has found a way to grow its telecommunications sector. A flourishing mobile telephony business has brought out many positive changes in the country's socio-economy. Foreign operators have been admiring Bangladesh as a budding high-growth mobile market, and have been in discussions with Bangladesh's regulator, the Bangladesh Telecom Regulatory Commission (BTRC), about investing in the country. In the near future, Bangladesh will become a huge investment hub for foreign companies. Service providers are spreading their wings and are optimizing their strengths and strategies to grab and retain their shares and enhance their subscriber base more aggressively. In a nutshell, Bangladesh's telecom sector has a huge growth potential and is not going to leave any stone unturned. This tremendous growth is due to falling call rates, cheaper handsets, and rising disposable income. Market Sketch
Six mobile phone companies currently operate in Bangladesh: Aktel, Banglalink, Grameenphone, Citycell, and Warid Telecom (private sector operators); and Teletalk (public sector operator). The Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has stated that the total number of mobile phone subscribers in Bangladesh reached 488 lakh at the end of July 2008. Grameenphone had the largest number of subscribers with 208 lakh followed by BanglaLink with 99 lakh subscribers. TMIB (Aktel) registered a subscriber base of 80 lakh, whereas the subscriber base for Warid Telecom reached 35 lakh. According to BTRC figures, total number of PSTN phone subscriber reached 38.12 lakh at the end of June 2008. BTTB, Ranks Telecom, Telebarta, Jalalabad Telecom, Onetel Communication, Dhaka Telephone, and Sheba Phone are some major operators in the PSTN phone space. With mobile phones becoming cheaper and affordable in the country people are moving towards new technologies like Internet services on mobile phones, games, etc. Also, the decline in duties and connection fees during the last few years has enabled low income groups to meet the expense of mobile phones. Delighted with fascinating growth, mobile companies are now adding new and innovative technologies in their services. They are focusing on enhancing their portfolio of value added services, triggering sales of mobile phones. Other important factors that are boosting the growth in Bangladesh's telecom industry include economic growth and better productivity in the country. Presently, the total tele-density (fixed and mobile phone) in Bangladesh stands at 16%, which is still very low compared to the global average tele-density of 50%. Key Developments
Telecom operators in Bangladesh are putting in their best efforts to win the competitive race. They are completely ready with winning strategies and are gearing up to accelerate the current pace of the telecom boom. Grameenphone, pioneer in innovative products and services in Bangladesh, is planning its own IPO. The company's board of directors have approved a proposal for floating an IPO of its shares. To retain its present customers, Grameenphone has also undertaken Bangladesh's biggest customer care campaign. The purpose was to interact with customers, help them solve their queries, and demonstrate Grameenphone's commitment as a customer-oriented company. Grameenphone's recent “Stay Close” brand campaign, coupled with good value proposition and expansion of sales and distribution footprint around the country, greatly contributed in attracting new customers. This year they also came up with a new handset campaign for new prepaid subscribers. Apart from these initiatives, bringing in the next level of global connectivity for business, Grameenphone also launched BlackBerry wireless solution in Bangladesh. The Black Berry solution will be provided through Grameenphone's business...
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