Research paper on investigation of the potential of mobile communication in Bangladesh

The present study mainly reports the prospect of mobile communication in Bangladesh. In doing so, all major players in the telecom market of Bangladesh has considered in order to find out the present and future attractiveness of the entire industry, current problems and challenges and many more. There were only secondary data used and analyzed to reach a problem specific and valid conclusion as there were time and financial limitations. The major sources of these secondary data were the company web sites, relevant books, journals and articles, publications, BTRC web site, etc. One of the key findings from the present study was that the mobile communication industry at present is in an intense competition where the number of subscribers is increasing rapidly. Also as the customers’ demands and wants are increasing every day, the mobile operators are in challenge to offer the lowest possible tariff rates for their customers. This also provides tremendous opportunities for the service providers to create new markets. There is still a huge prospect of the telecom industry, Bangladesh to grow further. It is not possible to take an absolute control over the problems nor can it be managed single handed as the customers’ needs and demands are increasing continuously. In order to reap the benefits from the available services, the mobile operators must realize the importance of it for the first place. Of course the nature of problems and challenges may vary organization to organization but their likely impact on the overall industry would remain same.

“Watson, come here: I want you.” This was the first message ever transmitted from one place to another, through a device called telephone. American genius, Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922) along with his assistant Thomas Watson invented the device. It was March 10, 1876, an important day for human civilization, the first step towards developing means of communication. We’ve come a long way since then. Today, mobile phone is a part of our everyday life. Nowadays, the mobile phone is not only used for making calls, among many other functions it’s used for communicating through text-messages and so called multi-media messages, as well as to connect us to the internet. The opportunities that lie in the mobile communication market seem endless and the growing demand for mobile telephone systems is creating a world-wide market. The telecom industry is nowadays not only by means of millions, but by means of billions. Actors in this industry are seeking the most profitable markets throughout the world.

The mobile phone sector, in Bangladesh is one of the fastest growing business segments of the country which provide a lot of value addition to the society with its service and creation of employment opportunities. At present there are six mobile phone operators in the country with – GrameenPhone, Banglalink, Robi (Aktel), Teletalk, Airtel and Citycell. The total number of mobile phone active subscribers in Bangladesh has reached 85.455 million at the end of December, 2011. The present tele density in the country is about 46 percent.

The present endeavour is to make a detail examination and critical analysis of the prospect of mobile communication in Bangladesh. This report is based mainly on the secondary data such as; relevant articles, journals, company publications, different research papers, company websites, relevant text books, and so on. The basic framework of the present study covers the analysis of our telecom industry on the basis of its customers, competitors, overall industry attractiveness and profitability (Porter’s five forces analysis), PEST and SWOT analysis and from a marketing perspective. After making interpretations of the findings this report has made some recommendations which could contribute to the further growth and expansion of the industry.

Bangladesh was the first South Asian country to adopt cellular technology back in 1993 by introducing Advanced Mobile Phone System (AMPS). In fact, the first mobile license was issued back in 1989 but it took several years to launch the services. The network coverage and number of subscribers had remained very limited due to exorbitantly high subscription cost and call. In 1996, the then government considering the monopolistic environment prevailing in the sector awarded three GSM licenses aimed at breaking the monopoly and making the cellular technology affordable to the general masses. Since then, the country's cellular industry never looked back, now it has turned into the largest infrastructure provider during the last decade as sub sector within telecom sector. This sub-sector has created new opportunities by generating employment, facilitating education and health services for common people. The mobile communications sector in Bangladesh is one of the fastest growing industries and has helped boost the economic and social development in the country in three main ways: