Grameenphone, the largest mobile operator in Bangladesh, posted a surge in profit, and double-digit growth in subscribers and data revenue in the final quarter of 2018.
Michael Patrick Foley, CEO, said it launched 4G in February 2018 and faced many challenges with a tough competitive environment and regulatory directives, such as a unified tariff for voice.
Foley noted many regulatory initiatives are in the discussion phase, with action expected this year on issuing rules for significant market power (SMP) operators, tower sharing licensing and quality of service.
“We would like to reiterate our commitment towards meaningful consultations between industry and government that can enrich the industry service propositions further, which in-effect will facilitate the current economic growth momentum of the country,” he added.
During Q4 2018, net profit increased 41.6 per cent year-on-year to BDT11.5 billion ($138 million), with mobile service revenue growing 8.8 per cent to BDT34.1 billion. The profit gain was impacted by one-off items and a change in how it recognises customer acquisition costs under a new accounting standard, the company said.
Data revenue rose 25.1 per cent year-on-year to BDT1.4 billion, driven by an 18.9 per cent increase in data users to 37.1 million. Voice revenue jumped 11.9 per cent to BDT2.5 billion. Service ARPU fell 2.5 per cent to BDT157.
The operator added 1.3 million subscribers closing the quarter with 72.7 million in total, up 11.3 per cent from Q4 2017. It ended the year with 5.5 million 4G users.
Capex fell to BDT3.9 billion in Q4 from BDT4.7 billion in the 2017 quarter. It added nearly 500 3G base stations during the recent quarter, taking the total to about 14,700, and installed 429 4G sites to end 2018 with just over 5,000.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back