Bangladesh has seen a very rapid increase in mobile broadband penetration over the past five years driven by a rising level of mobile subscribers with faster download speeds on 4G networks, reports Research & Markets.
However, the mobile broadband market is still at an early stage of development with penetration well below most other Asian countries, but it has nonetheless experienced strong growth over the last six years. This is predicted to continue over the next five years to 2023.
The mobile sector has seen significant market consolidation over the past few years, with the merger of Robi Axiata and Airtel Bangladesh. Also, mobile operator CityCell was forced out of the market, reducing the number of major mobile operators to just four by 2018. Slow to moderate mobile subscriber growth is predicted over the next five years to 2023. The market will be constrained from higher growth due to very strong local competition.
The mobile broadband market will be driven by increasingly faster speeds offered by the mobile operators as they further roll out their 4G networks and eventually launch 5G networks. Fixed broadband penetration in Bangladesh remains very low mainly due to the dominance of the mobile platform. Also, the limited and declining number of fixed lines is restricting more widespread development of fixed broadband. The ECNEC has approved the revival of the NGN modernisation project to be undertaken by Bangladesh Telecommunications Company Limited (BTCL). Over the next five years to 2023, strong growth is expected to continue.
Bangladesh ranks among the most densely populated countries on the globe, but its fixed-line penetration remains the lowest in South Asia. The fixed line market in Bangladesh remains highly underdeveloped due to the dominance of the mobile segment. Further, the number of fixed telephone lines is slowly declining as the mobile segment and in particular the mobile broadband segment continues to expand.
In July 2018 the first test run of 5G technology in Bangladesh took place in Dhaka. The demonstration aimed to show how a 5G ecosystem can be cultivated in the ‘Digital Bangladesh’ project.
In 2018 the BTRC issued a directive on allowing Internet of Things (IoT) for smart buildings, automation industries and some other city services that will help to establish a smart city.