The Daily Star Bangladesh 29.06.2017
Total active Internet connections crossed the milestone 70 mln users this April. Banglalink, a mobile operator, has 15,5 mln users.
Total active internet connections crossed the milestone of seven crore in April — a development that can be viewed as a pat on the back for the government’s’Digital Bangladesh’ aspiration. “This landmark achievement is a matter of pride for us — very few countries in the world have such huge volumes of internet connections,” said Shahjahan Mahmood, chairman of the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission. Of the total connections, 93.69 percent are through the mobile network, 6.17 percent through the internet service providers and only 0.14 percent through WiMAX that is available in cities. The industry crossed the six crore mark in August last year, five crore in August 2015 and four crore in September 2014. At the end of May, total active internet connections stood at 7.20 crore, according to the telecom regulator. Of the mobile operators, market leader Grameenphone has about 2.96 crore internet connections, Robi 2.18 crore, Banglalink 1.55 crore and state-owned Teletalk 4.48 lakh. The two WiMAX operators Banglalion and Qubee have 45,551 and 36,559 active internet users respectively. State-owned landline operator Bangladesh Telecommunications Company Limited has 21,021 internet connections. Mobile phone operators said the internet has become a basic need and the industry will see a good growth rate when the bandwidth prices decline. The top three mobile operators’ quarterly financial reports also showed their data usage has grown but they said the unique internet user numbers are not increasing significantly. Currently, only about 20 percent of their subscribers are using the internet, the mobile operators said. However, based on its numbers, the BTRC said, as of now internet penetration stands at 44.43 percent. At the end of May, the total active mobile connections stood at 13.50 crore. If any SIM does not remain active for 90 days, it is considered inactive.