Mobile internet connections increase by 27.9 lakh in July

An archive photo shows a man using the internet on his mobile phone in Dhaka. The number of mobile internet connections increased by 27.9 lakh in July, in line with a huge increase in the last fiscal year 2020-2021, as people continue to embrace digital services amid the Covid outbreak. – Photo New Age

The number of mobile internet connections increased by 27.9 lakh in July, in line with a huge increase in the last fiscal year 2020-2021, as people continue to embrace digital services amid the Covid outbreak.

Data from the Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission released on Tuesday showed that the number of mobile internet connections rose to 11.37 crore at the end of July 2021, from 11.09 crore a month ago.

On the other hand, the number of fixed broadband connections remained static at 1.01 crore in July.

With the increase, the total number of internet connections in the country reached 12.37 crore at the end of July 2021, up from 12.1 crore the previous month.

With the coronavirus outbreak that has forced a large portion of the country’s population to embrace digital services, the country’s internet connection count jumped 1.75 crore in FY21 from a growth of 72, 77 lakh the previous year.

Due to the sudden growth in the number of Internet users, customers have experienced an unsatisfactory quality of service which has helped make the country’s Internet speed 135th out of 137 countries, officials of mobile operators said.

However, the telecommunications regulator as well as two telecommunications operators questioned the authenticity of the ranking made by Ookla, a world leader in mobile and broadband network intelligence.

According to the ranking, Bangladesh’s internet speed was only ahead of Afghanistan and Venezuela.

The country’s mobile internet speed was 12.48 Mbps and the download speed was 7.98 Mbps.

With the growing number of users, data usage in the country increased to 2,409.08 Gbps at the end of April 2021 from 1,137.96 Gbps in January 2020, BTRC data showed.

From January 2020 to April 2021, international bandwidth usage increased by 1,271.12 Gbps, more than double the usage in January 2020.

In a public hearing conducted by the BTRC on August 22, the commission received complaints about the data service of telecommunications operators as well as network coverage.

Acknowledging the quality of service issue, the commission said it was working to allocate additional spectrum to operators in order to improve the quality of service.

Tuesday’s commission showed that the number of mobile phone connections increased from 5.3 lakh to 17.7 crore in July from 17.64 crore a month ago.

Among telecom operators, Grameenphone, Banglalink and Teletalk gained connections in July while Robi Axiata lost 30,000 connections during the month.

GP got the highest connections of 4.5 lakh to increase its subscriber base to 8.25 crore, Banglalink’s subscriber base increased from 10,000 to 3.66 crore and the subscriber base of Teletalk increased from 1.1 lakh to 60.9 lakh at the end of July.

Robi’s subscriber base fell to 5.18 crore at the end of July.

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