Government data showed mobile subscriber numbers in Bangladesh grew for the second consecutive month in February after falling by more than 4 million in H2 2022 due to market leader Grameenphone facing a ban on selling SIMs.

The four operators in the nation added 1.8 million subscribers in February for a total of 182.6 million, following a gain of 600,000 in January, data from the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission showed.

Subscriber numbers in 2022 peaked at 184.5 million in in June. Grameenphone was barred from selling SIMs the following month, with the restriction lifted at the beginning of 2023.

The operator’s subscriber base declined by 5.5 million in H2 2022.

During the period, only Banglalink managed to add users (1.4 million), with Robi Axiata losing 130,000 and Teletalk about 60,000 compared with H1 2022.

The full-year tally was down by nearly 1 million.

Grameenphone added 660,000 subscribers in January and February for a total of 80 million; Robi tallied 55.1 million after adding 740,000; Banglalink added nearly 1.1 million for 40.9 million total; and Teletalk was flat at 6.7 million.

Following a spectrum auction in April 2022, Grameenphone’s 4G customers grew 23.6 per cent year-on-year to 34.2 million across the full year, with Robi’s up 5.1 million to 29.9 million.