Telco Business

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In this quarter’s update, we have incorporated the latest subscriber data from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) and Bangladeshi mobile operators, and made several adjustments to our forecast scenarios. We have also extended our forecast period to 2016.

At the time of writing, the BTRC and several mobile operators have yet to release the latest subscriber data pertaining to the quarter ended September 2011. We estimate that there were about 86.555mn mobile subscribers in Bangladesh at the end of September 2011, representing a net addition of 4.728mn from the previous quarter. Grameenphone was the only operator to have announced its September 2011 results.

The operator’s subscriber base increased to 35.245mn from 33.824mn in June 2011, while its blended ARPU fell to BDT257 from BDT270 over the same period. We believe that the Bangladeshi mobile industry is on track to meet our end-2011 target of 90.511mn. In our newly extended forecast, we expect 158.940mn subscribers in the country at the end of 2016, with a penetration rate of 99.2%. While we have largely retained our expectations for Bangladesh’s fixed-line industry, we have adjusted our forecasts for the country’s internet and broadband sectors in light of new data from the ITU. We forecast 9.718mn internet users and 4.729 broadband (fixed and mobile) subscribers in Bangladesh at the end of 2016.

In the quarter ended September 2011, we saw the announcements that the Bangladeshi government has planned to auction 3G licences in September 2012 and state-owned Teletalk has been granted permission to trial the technology. The dust surrounding the 2G licence renewal fees for Bangladesh's four mobile operators was seemingly settled in September 2011 after a year of negotiations with the regulator.

However, the BTRC contacted the…...

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