Banglalink’s subscriber base came down to 28.9 mln in August as the operator lost 2.385 mln or 7.61% of subscribers in August.
The telecom industry faced a setback in August with its active SIM connections declining about 7 percent from the previous month. The top four mobile phone operators experienced the drop while Teletalk and Citycell maintained their position due to the use of different calculation tools, according to data from Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission. The total number of active users in Bangladesh was 11.97 crore in August, compared to 12.89 crore in July. The six operators lost 37 lakh subscribers in July. The industry has been witnessing a decline in six out of the eight months to August. This is because the operators are adjusting to the drop in subscribers after biometric SIM re-registration that ended on May 31, said a top official of the regulator. The official figures for Teletalk and Citycell will be published in the September report, as they were late to block their unregistered customers, the official said. As per rules, operators have to count any number as active unless it remains off for three consecutive months. In August, leading mobile phone operator Grameenphone lost 17.93 lakh (3.19 percent) from its customer base that pushed down its total to 5.45 crore. Banglalink’s subscriber base came down to 2.89 crore in August as the operator lost 23.85 lakh or 7.61 percent of subscribers in the month. Robi lost 35.55 lakh customers or 13.26 percent of its active customer base in the month that brought down its total to 2.33 crore. Fourth largest operator Airtel lost 15.08 percent of its active customer base and came down to 79.43 lakh in August. The operator had crossed the one crore mark just a few months back, but it has been declining for the last four months. The subscriber base of Citycell, which has been closed by BTRC for non-payment of dues on October 20, remained stagnant at 6.68 lakh in August. BTRC Chairman Shahjahan Mahmood, however, recently said the actual number of Citycell users before its closure was 1.5 lakh. The subscriber base of state-run Teletalk also remained unchanged at 44.37 lakh in August. Its Managing Director Gias Uddin Ahmed said they have blocked around 22 lakh subscribers although it was not reflected in the report. The BTRC official said as Teletalk did not adjust the subscriber number until August after the end of biometric re-registration, its subscriber base is yet to be affected. “Teletalk’s subscriber base would be reflected in September.” The number of internet users in the country declined by 17 lakh in August, as the majority of the internet subscribers was mobile phone based, according to BTRC data.