Bangladesh-based Grameenphone booked growth in subscribers and data usage in Q3 but profit declined due to falling ARPU and higher capex linked to expanding LTE coverage.

Net profit fell 3.8 per cent year-on-year to BDT8.6 billion ($100.5 million) and revenue rose 1.8 per cent to BDT36.2 billion.

In a statement, CEO Yasir Azman noted it continued to focus on driving voice and data bundles, with “a higher conversion from voice to data users” leading a 52.4 per cent increase in data usage.

Its mobile subscriber base increased 7.7 per cent to 83.6 million. The operator added 4.1 million data users, which accounted for 55.1 per cent of its total and LTE grew 16 per cent to 27.6 million.

ARPU dropped 5.9 per cent to BDT144, attributed to lower voice revenue stemming from Covid-19 (coroanvirus) lockdown measures.

Network capex in the nine months to end-September increased from BDT6.1 billion in 2020 to BDT10.7 billion and it added nearly 5,400 4G sites to take the total to 16,795 and 96.8 per cent population coverage.