Problems of Telecommunication Sector in Bangladesh

Topics: Mobile phone, Internet, Mobile network operator Pages: 8 (2111 words) Published: August 24, 2013
Publication Overview
This report provides a comprehensive overview of the trends and developments in the telecommunications and digital media markets in Bangladesh. Subjects covered include:

* Key Statistics;
* Market and Industry Overviews and Analyses;
* Regulatory Environment and Development;
* Major Telecom Players (fixed and mobile);
* Infrastructure;
* Broadcasting (including Digital Media);
* Mobile Voice and Data Market;
* Internet, including VoIP and IPTV;
* Broadband (fixed and mobile);
* Scenario Forecasts (fixed-line, mobile and broadband subscribers) for 2015 and 2020. Researcher:- Peter Evans
Current publication date:- February 2013 (18th Edition)
 
Executive Summary
As Bangladesh’s mobile expansion finally slows, the fixed market recovers from a major setback Bangladesh remains one of the poorest, most densely populated, least developed countries in the world; yet it has somehow managed to show considerable spirit in the development of its telecom sector. Bangladesh has discovered a way to grow the sector in spite of the odds. This nation of almost 170 million people, with its comparatively low GDP per capita, has been involved in the creation of a very competitive mobile telephone market. Most noticeable has been the willingness of Bangladesh to encourage foreign participation in these endeavours. Following a number of boom years of expansion, the Bangladesh mobile market started showing signs of growth moderating in 2009. This easing has continued through 2012 and into 2013. There had been a truly stellar year in 2007 with the mobile subscriber base increasing by 70%. Growth eased to around 30% and eased further to less than 20% by 2012, with the country’s mobile subscriptions reaching almost 100 million by end-2012. GrameenPhone continued to lead the field with around 41 million subscribers or 41% of the market. The strong growth in mobiles has been helped enormously 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. The success of the mobile market, however, has been achieved in a country that continues to struggle with its lowly economic status, its frequent natural disasters such cyclones and floods and the slow implementation of much-needed economic reforms. This unfortunate state of affairs has been reflected in the fixed-line segment of the local telecom market which remains essentially stagnant with a teledensity of less than 1%, by far the lowest in South Asia. With 95% of homes lacking a telephone and with a substantial waiting list for fixed-line services, the country is still struggling with some of the most underdeveloped telecommunications infrastructure in the world. About 80% of Bangladesh’s fixed telephone services are to be found in its four main cities and most of these had been provided by the state-owned Bangladesh Telegraph and Telephone Board. To make matters worse, as the country struggled to put an effective telephone network in place, the fixed market experienced a major setback in 2010. The regulator shut down five of the country’s fixed-line operators because of their alleged involvement in illegal VoIP traffic. This saw a huge number of fixed subscribers disconnected. In fact, within a two month period the number of fixed services in operation had fallen from 1.7 million to around one million. The market has since been able to recover to some extent but it was nevertheless a major setback for the telecom sector and there were ongoing repercussions. In the meantime, on a more positive note, the strong mobile market was estimated to have created nearly 250,000 jobs throughout the country. Although the mobile segment was continuing to grow, the challenge for the operators is to maintain viable business models, given that mobile ARPU had fallen...
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