Find Telecommunication expertise in Bangladesh
Bangladesh has experienced rapid growth in its telecommunications sector since the beginning of the 21st century. While the country as a whole has relatively low penetrations rates, the introduction of modern infrastructure including 3G networks has brought about widespread growth in the sector. The country experienced very fast growth in mobile cellular subscriptions from 2005-10, reporting a seven-fold increase. In 2004 the telecommunications sector in Bangladesh had revenues of over USD$6.4 million representing a total of 1.5% of GDP (Trading Economics, 2004). While more recent data on the contribution to GDP by the sector is unavailable, it is likely that given the later growth in the sector, the percentage has increased since 2004. Information collected by Asian Tiger Capital Partners states that the telecommunications sector in Bangladesh employed approximately 111,700 people in 2010 (At-Capital, 2010).
Grameenphone is the largest mobile telecoms firm in the country – in 2013 it had a 41.8% market share and around 41.8 million subscriptions. Other mobile phone operators in the country include Banglalink, Robi, Airtel Bangladesh, Citycell and Teletalk.
State-owned Bangladesh Telecommunications Company Limited (BTCL) is a Bangladeshi telecommunications company that operates the largest landline network in the country. In 2012, BTCL had approximately 872,000 subscribers and represented 88% of fixed telephone lines in the country. The company also uses a fibre-optic network and copper wires to distribute the internet.
Up until the late 20th century the telecommunications sector in Bangladesh was monopolised by the government owned Bangladesh Telegraph and Telephone Board (BTTB). Liberalisation of the sector began in 1989 when licenses were granted to private telecommunications companies in order to compete with the government monopoly. In 2008 BTTB was rebranded as a public limited company, the Bangladesh Telecommunications Company Limited (BTCL), with shares in the company due to go on sale to the public. However in 2013 BTCL was still entirely government owned. Telecommunications services in Bangladesh are amongst the most highly taxed in the world and make a vital contribution to the national fiscal reserves.
The sector is regulated by the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) which was established in 2002 under the 2001 Bangladesh Telecommunication Act. BTRC is responsible for assisting the development of the telecommunications system in the country, ensuring the efficiency of the sector both nationally and internationally, encouraging new competition in the market, and ensuring that the greatest numbers of citizens possible have access to the best telecommunication services possible.
In 2009 the Ministry of Education launched preparations for an ICT in education master plan in the hope of promoting the use of ICT in schools across the country. Results gathered since the inception of the master plan show that by 2012, 503 secondary schools and 500 primary schools had been fitted with multimedia classrooms. Following on from this, in the first six months of 2013 a further 20,500 secondary schools and 1,503 primary schools had been supplied with these facilities.
The World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report reported relatively low numbers of mobile phone subscriptions in Bangladesh; in 2014 there were 759 mobile telephone subscriptions for every 1000 people in the country. By comparison the numbers of telephone landlines were even fewer, with just 7 landlines per 1000 people for the same year. Internet usage is also fairly low in the country, with results for 2012 showing that just 5% of the population had access to the internet.
Broadband internet subscriptions in the country are negligible, with 0 broadband internet subscriptions and 0 mobile broadband subscriptions per 100 people. The international internet bandwidth speed in Bangladesh is relatively low by world standards. In 2012 the average internet speed was 2.9 kilobytes per second per internet user, giving Bangladesh a rating of 117 out of 144 countries included in the WEF Report (WEF, 2012).
|Telecoms and Internet Service Providers organisations in Bangladesh|
|Ministry of Post and Telecommunication||