May 17, 2009

Mobile Phone In Bangladesh - Struggling to Survive

Mobile phone sector in Bangladesh is going towards an uncertain journey. Most of the companies in this sector failed to make profit even though they invested millions of dollars. Except of Grameen Phone, none of the companies are profitable and it is also uncertain, when they will. Most of the companies are anxious for not being profitable despite of investing millions. They are now seeking help for some government policy. Proper action plan is required so that consumers and Telco’s both are benefited.

Five years ago, number of phone subscribers was less than five million. According to BTRC now there are about 46.5 million mobile phone subscribers. Initially mobile phone was expensive. Now it is within the reach of common people. Almost one third of the total population is using mobile phone in their daily life. Now it is a challenge for mobile to reach rural and bring technology there.

Mobile phone companies are also the pioneer investor in the country. Almost 4 billion dollar is already invested. Each year, almost 10% of the national revenue generates from this sector.

Of the six mobile phone companies in Bangladesh, no one except Grameen Phone was profitable in 2008. But still almost all of them are investing. Investment for new technologies like 3G is also in their future plan. But it will be quite impossible for them to exist if they continue incurring losses.

Increase in subscriber was 117.57% in 2004. But in 2008, it became only 30%. According to Telco’s, high tax rate on SIM card is the main obstacle to increase subscribers. Now tax for each SIM is TK 800. Companies subsidized to provide SIM for less. By withdrawing the Tax, decrease in SIM price as well as subscribers increase will be possible. As a result, mobile phone industry will be benefited and increase in national revenue will be much more than present.


Post a Comment