Telecommunications in Bangladesh

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The liberalization of Bangladesh's telecommunications sector began with small steps in 1989 with the issuance of a license to a private operator for the provision of inter alia cellular mobile services to compete with Bangladesh Telegraph and Telephone Board (BTTB), the previous monopoly provider of telecommunications services within Bangladesh. 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 has subsequently grown exponentially in the past five years.

The incentives both from the government and public sectors have helped the industry grow and it is now one of the biggest industries in Bangladesh. As a populous country, its huge market has attracted many foreign investors.


The telecom sector in Bangladesh is rapidly emerging. Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) is the regulatory authority for this sector, overseeing licensing, policy, etc.

The calling code of Bangladesh is +880. There are also several SubCodes.


Landmarks in the history of the telecom industry in Bangladesh:[1]

  • 1853: Telegraph branch under Posts and Telegraph Department, British India.
  • 1971: Reconstructed as Bangladesh Telegraph and Telephone Department under the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications.
  • 1975: Reconstructed as Telegraph and Telephone Board.
  • 1979: Reconstructed as Bangladesh Telegraph and Telephone Board (BTTB) with the right to issue licenses for telecom and wireless services.
  • 1981: Digital Telex Exchange in Bangladesh.
  • 1983: Automatic Digital ITX started in Dhaka.
  • 1985: Coinbox Telephone service was introduced in Bangladesh by BTTB.
  • 1989: GENTEX Telegraph messaging service introduced in Bangladesh.
  • 1989: Bangladesh Rural Telecom Authority got a license to operate exchanges in 200 Upazila.
  • 1989: Sheba Telecom got license to operate exchange in 199 Upazila.
  • 1989: Cellular mobile phone company Pacific Bangladesh Telephone Limited and Bangladesh Telecom got license.
  • 1995: Card Telephone service introduced in Bangladesh by BTTB and TSS.
  • 1995: Regulatory power of BTTB transferred to Ministry (MoPT).
  • 1995: 2nd and 3rd ITX installed in Dhaka.fuad
  • 1996: GrameenPhone got cellular mobile Telephone license.
  • 1996: Telecom Malaysia International Bangladesh got cellular mobile license.
  • 1998: Telecom Policy.
  • 2000: Global Telecom Service (GTS) Telex Exchange venture with British Teleco.
  • 2001: Telecommunication Act, to establish Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC).
  • 2002: ICT Policy.
  • 2004: Teletalk (BTTB bMobile) cellular mobile launched.
  • 2005: Egypt-based Orascom acquired Sheba Telecom
  • 2006: NGN introduced in BTTB.
  • 2008: BTTB converted into Bangladesh Telecommunications Company Limited (BTCL) with 100% shares owned by Government. The Submarine Cable Project transformed into Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company Limited (BSCCL)
  • 2008: Japanese NTT DoCoMo bought 30 percent stake in Aktel
  • 2009: Bharti Airtel acquired 70 percent stake in Warid Telecom
  • 2009: Internet Protocol Telephony Service Provider (IPTSP) Operators launched.
  • 2010: Aktel rebranded to Robi Axiata Limited
  • 2012: 3G mobile service is introduced by state owned Teletalk in October.[2][3]
  • 2013: 3G auction held for private companies
  • 2014: 64 districts covered with 3G by Teletalk, Grameenphone, Banglalink and Robi
  • 2016: Robi and Airtel were merged on 16 November 2016 and Robi set sail as the merged company.[4]
  • 2018: 4G auction held for private companies
  • 2018: on 19 February 4G mobile service is introduced[5]
  • 2021: on 12 December 5G mobile service is introduced by TeleTalk
  • 2022: on 17 March Unlimited Validity Data service is introduced by TeleTalk
  • 2022: On 31 March 5G auction held for all Telecom companies


Bangladesh Telecom Network Topology

As defined in the National Telecommunications Policy 1998 and International Long-Distance Telecommunications Services (ILDTS) Policy 2007, all mobile operators are to interconnect through Interconnection Exchange (ICX) and all international calls to be handled by International Gateway (IGW) which is to be connected to the mobile and fixed operators through the ICXs.

The Interconnection Exchange (ICX) will receive all calls from the mobile and fixed operators whenever the call is made to another network and will pass it to the destination network if the call is local ,and will pass to the IGWs if the call is international. ICX will also deliver calls received from IGWs where the call is destined.[6]

Below illustrate the structure of interconnection between different interfaces.

Service providers[edit]

Public switched telephone network[edit]

The number of public switched telephone network (PSTN) subscribers in Bangladesh as of February 2009 was 1.372 million.[7] PSTN operators in Bangladesh include:

Mobile phone operators[edit]

There are four mobile phone operators in Bangladesh, operating under the names of Banglalink, Grameenphone, Robi and TeleTalk. The number of mobile phone subscribers in Bangladesh as of April 2015 was 124.705 million,[8] having risen from the February 2009 figure of 45.21 million.[9] As of September, 2022 the number of mobile phone subscriber has risen to 181.43 Million. [1]

Long distance operators (as per ILDTS Policy 2007)[edit]

On 25 February 2008 the Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission awarded licenses for two Interconnection Exchanges (ICX), three International Gateways (IGm), and one International Internet Gateway (IIG) to six firms through an open auction in February 2008. The incumbent BTTB got the same licenses too. And after then on 12 April 2012, the Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission awarded licenses for twenty-one Interconnection Exchanges (ICX), twenty two International Gateways (IGw), and thirty International Internet Gateway (IIG). Here is the list of all operators:

International Gateway (IGW) operators[edit]
  1. Tech Panacea
  2. Mir Telecom LTD
  3. 1Asia Alliance Gateway
  4. Bangladesh International Gateway
  5. Bangla Tel Ltd
  6. Bangla Trac Communications
  7. Bestec Telecom
  8. BG Tel
  9. BTCL
  10. Cel Telecom
  11. DBL Telecom
  12. DigiCon Telecommunications
  13. First Communications
  14. Global Voice Telecom
  15. HRC Technologies
  16. Hub Tel
  17. LR Telecom Ltd.
  19. Kay Telecommunications
  20. Mos5 Tel
  21. Platinum Communications Ltd
  22. RanksTel
  23. Ratul Telecom
  24. Roots Communication
  25. Rimly IT Solutions (Added Recently)
  26. SM Communication
  27. SongBird Telecom (formerly Hamid Sourcing)[10]
  28. SVM Telecom LP
  29. Telex
  30. Unitrac Communications
  31. Vision Tel
  32. Venus Telecom LTD
  33. Carrier Voice UK LTD
  34. Rimly IT Solutions
Interconnection Exchange (ICX) operators[edit]
  1. M & H Telecom LTD
  2. Jibondhara Solutions Ltd.
  3. Summit ICX
  4. BTCL
  5. Bangla ICX Ltd.
  6. Agni ICX
  7. Apex Communication Pvt Ltd
  8. Carnival
  9. CloudTel
  10. GAZI Networks Ltd
  12. Imam Network Ltd.
  13. Jibondhara ICX
  14. Ring Tech Communications Limited
  15. MicroTrade ICX
  16. Mother Telecom
  17. New Generation Telecom Ltd
  18. Paradise ICX
  19. Purple Telecom Limited
  20. Crossworld Telecom Ltd.
  21. SR Telecom
  22. Sheba
  23. Softex
  24. Tele Exchange Ltd.
  25. Teleplus Network Ltd
  26. Verterx Telecom
  27. Voicetel Ltd.
  28. Bantel Limited.
  29. Sengupta Telecom
International Internet Gateway (IIG) operator[edit]
  1. Aamra Companies
  2. 1Asia Alliance Communication
  3. Abir Telecommunication
  4. Apple Communication
  5. Bangla Phone Ltd
  6. bdHUB
  7. BD Link Communication Ltd
  8. BSCCL
  9. BTCL
  10. Cybergate
  11. Delta Infocom
  12. Earth Telecommunication
  13. Equitel Communications
  14. Fiber @ Home
  15. Global Fair Communications
  16. Greenland Technologies
  17. Intraglobe Communications
  18. Level3 Carrier
  19. ADN International Gateway Limited. Formerly Managewell Communication Ltd
  20. Mango Teleservices
  21. MaxNet Online
  22. NovoCom
  23. PeerEx Networks Limited
  24. REGO Communications
  26. Summit Communications Limited
Internet Protocol Telephony Service Provider (IPTSP) operators[edit]

On 18 August 2009, the Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission commenced awarding licenses for IPTSP. IPTSP operators are regulated by the BTRC.[11] Current IPTSP operators in Bangladesh are:

  • Nationwide:
  1. MetroNet Bangladesh Ltd.
  2. Icon Infotech Ltd. (prefix-09644)
  3. Amber IT Ltd.
  4. Telnet Communication Ltd.
  5. Link3 Technologies Ltd. (prefix-09678)
  6. BDCOM Online Ltd.
  7. Access Telecom (BD) Ltd.
  8. ADN Telecom Ltd. (formerly Advanced Data Network Systems Ltd)
  9. Agni Systems Ltd.
  10. Rightsoft Systems.
  11. Akceycom Ltd.
  12. Akij Online Ltd.
  13. Bangladesh Export Import Company Ltd.
  14. Bangladesh Internet Exchange Ltd.
  16. BRACNet Ltd.
  17. Broad Band Telecom Services Ltd.
  18. BTS Communications (BD) Ltd., branded as UbernetBD
  19. Carnival Internet
  20. Communication One (Pvt.) Ltd.
  21. Connect BD Ltd.
  22. Cyber Net Communications
  23. dhakaCom Ltd.
  24. Digital Connectivity Ltd.
  25. ERGO Ventures Ltd.
  26. Global Access Ltd.
  27. HRC Technologies Ltd.
  28. Idea Networks And Communications Ltd.
  29. IDS Bangladesh
  30. Information Services Network Ltd.
  31. Innovative Online Ltd.
  32. InterCloud Ltd.
  33. IS PROS Ltd.
  34. MaxNet Online
  35. Manor IT Ltd.
  36. Link3 Technologies Ltd. (prefix-09678)
  37. Nreach Net (Pvt.) Ltd.
  38. Pritty International (Pvt) Ltd.
  39. Ranks ITT Ltd.
  40. Royal Green Online Ltd.
  41. X-Net Ltd.
  42. TeleBangla Communications Ltd.
  43. RED Data (Pvt) Ltd.
  44. Triangle Services LTD
  45. Premium Connectivity Limited
  • Central:
  1. Fusion Net
  2. Grameen Cybernet Ltd.
  3. IT Connect Ltd.
  4. J F Optical Services
  5. M/s. Media & Multimedia
  6. Next Online Ltd. (Nextfone)
  7. SADIATEC Ltd.
  8. Sine-10 (BD) Ltd.
  • Zonal:
  1. Chittagong Online Ltd.
  2. Chittagong Telecom Services Ltd.
  3. First n Fast IT Ltd.
International Terrestrial Cable (ITC) operator[edit]
  1. 1Asia Alliance Communication
  2. BD Link Communication Ltd
  3. Fiber @ Home
  4. Mango Teleservices
  5. NovoCom
  6. Summit Communications


Radio broadcast stations: AM 12, FM 12, shortwave 2, community radio 1, internet radios

Radios: 6.15 million (1997)

The government-owned Betar-Radio Bangladesh operates from Dhaka and other local districts. Currently, private FM radio channels are very popular. They are trying to attract young people by broadcasting music and news. The operating private radio channels include:


As of 2012, there are 23 broadcast television stations in Bangladesh, including the state-run BTV and BTV World, with 20 million television sets in the country.

The number of private satellite channels are growing. The first private channel in Bangladesh was ATN Bangla. There are 8 full-fledged news channels (ATN News, Channel 24, DBC News, Ekattor, Independent Television, Jamuna Television, News24 and Somoy TV).


The first connectivity in Bangladesh with the internet was in 1996. In the past few years, growth has been rapid. The government's high internet tariff is impeding the growth of this sector, claims Norwegian-owned Telenor.[citation needed] Recently the government has decided to reduce the tariff by 50%.[12]

The internet country code of Bangladesh is .bd.

As of 2005 more than 180 Internet Service Providers are operating in the country.[13] ISP's are regulated by the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC).

The number of internet users in Bangladesh as of March 2009 is over 600,000, compared to 100,000 in 2000.[14] However, only 0.3% of the population use the internet, 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.[15]

In April 2010 Akhtaruzzaman Manju, president of the Internet Service Providers' Association of Bangladesh, told Xinhua that the country's six cell phone operators and Internet Service Providers have so far provided over 800,000 internet connections. "We've estimated that nearly 10 million people in the country are using 800,000 internet connections on a shared basis," he said, adding the number of internet users in the country is increasing yearly by around 15-16 percent.[16]

A 2009 study by the Boston Consulting Group found that the number of Internet subscribers in Bangladesh is likely to reach 18.3 million by the year 2020, equivalent to a 32 percent household Internet penetration, which will result in a 2.6 percent contribution to the country's GDP while creating 129,000 more jobs, the research added.[17]

Broadband Internet access[edit]

Though broadband internet access is available, the cost of high-speed connection is higher than in other south Asian countries. Broadband internet and e-commerce in Bangladesh is progressing slowly. WiMAX service is now available from some internet service providers. In Bangladesh broadband is legally defined as 128/128 kbit/s, which is not in line with ITU standards.[18]

The ISPs currently providing broadband services in Bangladesh are:


There are 6 satellite Earth stations. Talimabad, Betbunia are two of them. Some info shows that the number is now 7. Bangladesh has sent its first ever satellite Bangabandhu-1 into space on May 11, 2018.

Submarine cables[edit]

Bangladesh is connected to SEA-ME-WE 4 or SMW-4 (South-East Asia – Middle East – Western Europe 4) and SEA-ME-WE 5 submarine cable systems. The landing site of the SMW-4 Bangladesh branch is located in Cox's Bazar and the landing site of the SMW-5 Bangladesh branch is located in Kuakata. The two submarine cables provide the country with redundancy to support uninterrupted internet and long-distance communications and also with a huge bandwidth. Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company Limited is the only submarine cable operator in Bangladesh.[19]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Chronological Development of Telecommunication, Bangladesh Telecommunications Company Limited.
  2. ^ "Bangladesh Enters 3G Era, Putting Telecom Growth on Fast Track". Fox Business. 14 October 2012. Retrieved 4 November 2012.
  3. ^ "Teletalk Launches Bangladesh's First 3G Network". Cellular News. 15 October 2012. Retrieved 4 November 2012.
  4. ^ "Robi sets sail as the Merged Company". Robi (Press release).
  5. ^ ফোরজি সেবা পেতে যা করতে হবে. Prothom Alo (in Bengali). 18 February 2018. Retrieved 21 February 2018.
  6. ^ National Telecommunications Policy 1998 Archived 6 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission Archived 3 April 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "Mobile Phone Subscribers in Bangladesh April 2015". BTRC. Retrieved 23 June 2020.
  9. ^ Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission Archived 8 May 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ "Songbird Telecom Limited". Retrieved 11 August 2015.
  11. ^ Internet Protocol Telephony Service Provider (IPTSP) Archived 7 October 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ Xinhua Archived 20 January 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ ISPs association Bangladesh Archived 19 March 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ #BD mobile Internet Usage Stats
  15. ^ "Internet users (per 100 people) | Data | Table". Retrieved 17 May 2013.
  16. ^ "Roundup: Internet use on rise in Bangladesh". iStockAnalyst. Archived from the original on 3 May 2010. Retrieved 18 July 2010.
  17. ^ "Internet subscribers may reach 18.3m by 2020". The Financial Express. Dhaka. 22 January 2010. Retrieved 9 April 2015.
  18. ^ spumail (4 April 2011). "Birth of Broadband – Frequently Asked Questions". Retrieved 17 May 2013.
  19. ^ "Home". Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company Limited (BSCCL).

External links[edit]