The telecoms regulator in Bangladesh introduced a ban on the production and importation of 3G handsets to encourage citizens to shift to smartphones, Dhaka Tribute reported.

Production of 3G-only handsets in the country slowed to a few thousands this year, data from Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission showed.

Dhaka Tribute reported the ban goes into effect on 1 January 2023.

Research from GSMA Intelligence indicated nearly half of Bangladesh’s 182 million mobile users had feature phones at end-June, with more 2G connections (75 million) than 4G (73.5 million).

Bangladesh closed Q2 with 33.5 million 3G connections.

Smartphone shipments accounted for 38 per cent of the overall handset market in Q1, Counterpoint Research reported.