The Mobile And Internet Penetration Growth Continues, Internet’s Deployment Phase

Jan 31, 2019

The Brief and Numbers:

  • Mobile phone: Bangladesh is a mobile-first country. Bangladesh is the ninth largest mobile markets in terms of the number of subscribers in the world. Total unique mobile phone subscriber in the country stands at 85 million, which means 51% penetration (GSMA, 2017). According to BTRC, total mobile subscribers stands at 156 million at the beginning of 2019.
  • Internet penetration: According to Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission, the number of internet users shot up from 30.48 million in 2013 to 90.05 million in 2018.
  • Mobile internet penetration: As of 2018, there are 80.47 million mobile phone internet users in Bangladesh (BRTC). Unique mobile internet subscribers were at 35 million in 2017, according to GSMA.
  • Broadband penetration: As of 2018, there are 570,000 broadband internet (ISP + PSTN) users, and 83,000 are WiMax users (BRTC, 2018).


Internet’s Deployment Phase: Broadly speaking, you can divide internet age into two phases: penetration and deployment. Penetration is about bringing people on the internet. Deployment is about developing and offering services and products and solutions to the people who are on the internet - broadly use cases.

Mobile Subscribers and Internet subscribers In Bangladesh (In Millions)
Mobile and Internet subscribers In Bangladesh (In Millions)

The chart above shows that we are doing pretty well on the side of penetration. Although we have a long way to go to bring everyone in Bangladesh on the internet, the growth has been consistent.

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Ruhul Kader is a technology and business analyst based in Dhaka, Bangladesh. He is also the co-founder and CEO of Future Startup and author of Rethinking Failure: A short guide to living an entrepreneurial life. He writes about internet business, strategy, technology, technology policy, and society. He can be reached at

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