Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – The number of mobile phone subscribers across the country reached 61.854 million in July this year adding 13 million new users from the same period of the previous year, officials said. 
Bangladesh’s six mobile phone operators sold 13.898 million new connections from July 2009 to July 2010 with 9.415 million new users in seven months of this year, according to the state-run Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) statistics.
Grameenphone holds the top position in picking new subscribers, as it added 6.126 million new customers during the period (July ’09 – July ’10) and has reached 27.276 million at the end of this July. It added 0.816 million subscribers in July, the BTRC data showed.
Banglalink is in the second position that reached 11.326 million at the end of July by adding 5.534 million new subscribers from the same period of the previous year. It added 0.704 million subscribers in July.
Besides, the subscriber base of Robi, which was previously known as Aktel, reached 11.326 million at the end of July, as it added 1.426 million subscribers in one year. It added 0.226 million subscribers in July.
Warid Telecom, the greater part of which was recently acquired by India’s Bharati Airtel, added 0.686 million subscribers in a year, and the total number of its subscribers reached 3.296 million at the end of July 2010. The company added 0.126 million subscribers in July.
The state-owned mobile phone operator Teletalk added only 0.09 million subscribers in a year, and its total number of subscribers reached 1.147 million at the end of July. 
Meanwhile, the subscriber base of City Cell, the lone CDMA mobile operator, reached 1.996 million, as it added only 0.036 million subscribers in a year. It added 0.006 million new subscribers in July. 
The total number of mobile subscribers was 34.37 million at the end of 2007, 44.64 million in 2008 and 52.43 million in 2009.
Mobile operators said that although the number of subscribers had crossed over 61 million, the number of people using mobile phone would be less as many of the subscribers use services of multiple operators.
The number of subscribers would have been greater if the government had not imposed the tax of BDT 800 that they have to pay for each SIM, a mobile company official said. 
He also claimed that they gave ‘subsidy’ to each new subscriber by selling every SIM at a price much below BDT 800, mainly because of the fierce competition among the mobile operators.
BBN/SI/AD-23Aug10-11:34 am (BST)