Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – The total number of active mobile subscribers increased to 66.62 million at the end of November this year from 65.56 million in the previous year, Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) said on Thursday.

The growth in the number of mobile subscribers picked up again in November as the country’s six operators added 1.058 million new subscribers, the BTRC data showed.

The number of active mobile subscribers increased by only 423,00000 in October, whereas the six operators netted 1.670 million subscribers in September, 1.630 million in August and 1.860 million in July 2010.

The calculation of the number of mobile subscribers was based on the connections that were active, a BTRC official said, adding that the number of connections does not necessarily mean that the country had 66.62 million mobile subscribers as many of the consumers, especially young people, use multiple SIMs.

He said that the addition of subscribers was low in October because of Eid festival.
“The number of subscriber increased in November as the mobile operators went for vigorous campaign or advertisement ahead of the entry of Indian Airtel in the Bangladesh market,” the BTRC official was quoted by the New Age, a local newspaper, as saying.

He also said that the mobile operators had started competition to lure subscribers by giving bonus talk times, SMS and mobile phones.

The leading operator GrameenPhone, which lost 16700000 subscribers in October, added 356,00000 subscribers in November to take its subscribers base to 28.8 million in the month from 28.5 million in October this year.

State-run Teletalk, which added 41,000 subscribers in October to take its subscriber base to 1.224 million, lost 20,000 subscribers in November.
The second largest operator, Banglalink, continued to be leader in netting subscribers for the second month by adding 43500000 customers in November after it added 30100000 customers in October. The total number of Banglalink subscribers reached to 18.8 million in November from 18.4 million in October, according to the reports.

Robi, the third largest operator, added 21400000 subscribers to take its subscriber base to 12 million.

The Bharti-Airtel officially re-branded Warid telecom to Airtel on December 20 after the Indian company acquired 70 percent stake of Warid a few months back.

Airtel, previously Warid, added 13100000 subscribers in November with its total number of subscribers reaching 3.797 million from 3.666 million in October.

The lone CDMA operator, Citycell, however, lost 60,000 subscribers in November when its total number of clients reached to 1.873 million from 1.933 million in October, the newspaper reported.

BBN/SI/AD-24Dec10-1:10 pm (BST)