Bangladesh's factories and manufacturing plants produced 67% of the handsets in the local market during the last one and half year.
More than 5 crore mobile phones came into the market between July 2019 and November 2020. Of these, 3.38 crore handsets were manufactured domestically, reads a Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) report on Thursday.
Speaking with the media at BTRC office, its Chairman Shyam Sunder Sikder said, "Currently, there are 12 mobile manufacturing companies throughout the country. The number of such companies were only nine in 2019.
"Local production increased because the regulatory commission has been promoting home-grown companies instead of the imports. The share of local companies' production will increase further once the National Equipment Identity Register (NEIR) takes shape."
The NEIR is a central system that will enable the authorities to disable illegal mobile devices. The BTRC has already inked a contract last November with Synesis IT Ltd, a local private information technology company, for setting up the facility.
Sikder hopes that the commission would be able to install the NEIR system by next June.
Tele-density nearing 100%
Tele density – which indicates the number of telephone connections for every hundred individuals living within an area – increased from 99.24% to 99.68% in Bangladesh last year.
Twenty-eight lakh new mobile users registered with telecom operators in the last one year till November 2020. The number of subscribers reached 16.98 crore in November 2020, from 16.70 crore in December 2019.
During this period, internet density also got a big push as it increased from 59.08% to 64.09% in the last one year, indicating an increase of 1.11 crore subscribers. The number of Internet subscribers also increased from 9.94 crore in December 2019 to 11.05 crore in November 2020.
Tele and internet density have played a big role in improving the internet infrastructure, as the country's bandwidth capacity has increased from 1,995 Gbps to 2,401 Gbps in the last year.
Meanwhile, the usage of internet increased from 1,192 Gbps in December 2019 to 1,826 Gbps in November 2020.
The BTRC chairman said the regulatory commission has decreased the bandwidth price by Tk50 per mbps considering consumer interest. In 2019, the price of per mbps bandwidth was Tk400, which has now dropped to Tk350.
BTRC Vice-Chairman Subrata Roy Maitra and its Commissioner Abu Syed Diljar Hussain also spoke at the programme among others.