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Communications in Bangladesh


The liberalisation of Bangladesh’s telecommunications sector began with small steps in 1989 with the issuance of a licence to a private operator for the provision of inter alia cellular mobile services to compete with the previous monopoly provider of telecommunications services the Bangladesh Telegraph & Telephone Board (BTTB). Significant changes in the number of fixed and mobile services deployed in Bangladesh occurred in the late 1990s and the number of services in operation have subsequently grown exponentially in the past five years.

The incentives both from government and public sectors have helped to grow this sector. It is now one of the biggest sector of Bangladesh. As a populous country, it's huge market has attracted many foreign investors to invest in this sector. There were 1.6 million mainline telephones in use in 2011, with an additional 85 million cellular phones in use throughout the country.

In 2006, Bangladesh had 15 AM, 13 FM and 2 shortwave radio broadcasting stations. In 1999, 15 television stations were in operation, which were accessible to about 90% of the population. Colour television was introduced in 1980 and the number of private satellite channels is growing.

The first connectivity of internet was only in 1996. Though It was somewhat late, over the past few years the growth is rapid. The government's high internet tariff is impeding the growth of this sector. Recently the government is decided to reduce the tariff 50%. Internet service providers are regulated by the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC). The number of internet users in 2009 was over 600,000 compared to 100,000 in 2000. However, only 0.3% of the population use the internet and thus making Bangladesh the lowest usage percentage per population of the internet in the world with the exception of North Korea, Myanmar and Sierra Leone.


Telephones - main lines in use : 1.6 million (2011)
Telephones - mobile cellular : 85 million (2011)
Telephone system : general assessment: inadequate for a modern country; introducing digital systems; trunk systems include VHF and UHF microwave radio relay links, and some fibre-optic cable in cities
domestic: fixed-line teledensity remains only about 1 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular telephone subscribership has been increasing rapidly and now exceeds 50 telephones per 100 persons
international: country code - 880; landing point for the SEA-ME-WE-4 fibre-optic submarine cable system that provides links to Europe, the Middle East, and Asia; satellite earth stations - 6; international radio-telephone communications and landline service to neighbouring countries (2011)
Broadcast media

: state-owned Bangladesh Television (BTV) operates 1 terrestrial TV station, 3 radio networks, and about 10 local stations; 8 private satellite TV stations and 3 private radio stations also broadcasting; foreign satellite TV stations are gaining audience share in the large cities; several international radio broadcasters are available (2007)
Internet country code : .bd
Internet hosts : 71,164 (2012)
Internet users : 617,300 (2009)




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