Mobile phone and its impact on society:

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Mobile phone and its impact on society


Now the world is called the “ Global Village “ and it is possible only through the blessings of modern technology and one of which is the mobile phone or cell phone. Now it is possible through cell phone to connect with people and share information as well as feelings to the remote corner of the world. In Bangladesh the infrastructure is not so developed as people can communicate with one another within a short time. Through cell phone now people from any location can communicate to the desire location and perform their task more easily and speedy than previous. There is a theme “Where ever you are stay in touch “and it is possible only through cell phone. At present one is more interested to know the cell phone number instead of residential address. Certainly it is the output of cell phone which shrinks the world as well as Bangladesh.

How have mobile phones changed society?

Anyone can tell that the incorporation of mobile phone into the society has certainly had some kind of effect. For a society in which mobile phone ringer now dominates many areas and calling plans are now cheaper enough to be affordable to almost everyone, time are certainly changing. Ten years ago the new-familiar Nokia ring tone was a rarity, a curiosity. However, it’s considered more of a disturbance than anything else.

There is no doubt that cell phones have had an impact on society, both good and bad. The possibilities of the usefulness in carrying a cellular phone are nearly endless- solving problems ranging anywhere from car problems to a heart attack. On the flip side, however, misuse of mobile phones (for example, use in cars) has been around as long as the mobile phone itself.

This sub-section of the site aims to answer the question hanging over this report, namely, “How have mobile phones changed society? “ There may not be one definite answer, but the following discussions are attempts to identify several of these changes.

How society operates now vs. thirteen years ago:

Fifteen years ago, mobile phones were a rarity. Head executives of the largest companies possibly had one mobile phone, may be a pager , but generally the concept of mobile telephony was way over many peoples’ head at that time. Work was conducted via normal telephones. Even on airplanes, phones had yet to emerge. An executive on a business trip could not receive any type of information while he or she was traveling. A CEO of a small company on lunch break could probably not be contacted. It was, to some extent, the Stone Age of business.

—-Fast forward to recent days, every executive and many workers carry a mobile phone, a beeper/pager, or both. Businesspeople can be contacted any time, at any place, and can return these calls with ease. It is not uncommon to see scores of people in business suits speaking into their various types of mobile phones, almost every different kind imaginable. Mobile phones have seemingly made work more possible and efficient, if only by the ability to end and receive calls on the road. Unfortunately, mobile phones are a double-edged sword, and efficiency has a price. Most businesspeople end up doing more work as a result of cell phones ; because they can receive calls at any time, on the previous few days off, executives are working just as hard as they do on workdays, whether it is to finish a last-minute project or prepare for a new one.

Mobile phones for security and safety uses and to the social effects of the temporal coordination of our affairs that the devices make possible. We can better coordinate the details of our social interaction, our comings and goings, our finding each other, if we can talk quickly to each other from no matter where we are. Less obvious is the fact that having such an unprecedented ability exerts an impact on the forms of our social interaction themselves, not only the ways we make and keep our appointments but the sort of appointments we make and other details of our daily lives.

Mobile phone and Teenagers:

Teenagers are not associated with being the most mature age group. Yet, as a recent study shows, increasing use of mobile phones may, in part, be due to the willingness of teenagers to represent an image of maturity and adulthood. Among numerous teenagers surveyed as to whether they rated mobile phones are popular or unpopular, 87% gave positive answer. It may be hard to believe that teenagers might want to emulate adults, but research says it’s the case.

The first study mentioned also has an interesting outcome. In the United Kingdom, a recent “decline in cigarette smoking also coincided with a dramatic increase in mobile phone use.” The implications of this observation could truly affect teenage smoking in the United States, where currently 19% of males and 27% of females smoke regularly. A large amount (33% of all teenagers) also already owns a mobile phone. An anti-smoking campaign could very well change the balance between teenage smokers and non-smokers.

Contribution to Society:

Mobile Phone companies believe that good business leads to good development, since high level of productivity is development. The activities of different mobile phone companies contribute to the socio-economic development of Bangladesh in many different ways.

Employment opportunities:

Mobile phone companies create huge number of employment opportunities both directly and indirectly. More than 50,000 people are directly related and more than 2,00,000 people are indirectly related with this sector. The people related are working for the dealers, agents, contractors, suppliers and a major portion of that figure are working in P.C.O. or Public Call Center and V.P. or Village Phone service.

Contribution to the G.D.P.

According to the International Telecommunications Union, the Geneva-based UN body, the addition of each new telephone in a developing country like Bangladesh, adds US $ 3,000 to the country’s economy or G.D.P. Mobile operators also pay a huge amount of tax to the Government fund. For example the tax paying rate of GP in different years is given below:

Contribution to the national revenue of different years by GP

Developing Village Economy:

Starting in 1997, the VP or Village Phone program has continued to grow at a robust pace over the years. By the year 2006, the number of Village Phone subscription stood at 1,25,000 in 61 districts. The average earning of Village Phone Operator is about BDT 5,000 per month which is more than twice the per capita income. The VP program provides Universal access to telephone services to the residents of rural Bangladesh. A person may not own a telephone but s/he has access a telephone near by. Due to diversified occupation, many people live out side their villages. They seek off farm and non-farm income earning opportunities outside their villages. On the other hand, volume of rural-urban trade has considerably increased. Thus two important factors emerge- enhanced labor mobility as well as marketing of agricultural production- which has resulted in enhanced demand for telephone services that is provided by Village Phone. The other reality is that personal voice communication is important in doing business in village area.

Mobile Phone and Socio-cultural activities:

Mobile phone operators also actively participate in promoting different socio-cultural activities and sports events in the country. They sponsored many activities over the years like Zainul-Quamrul International Children’s Art Competition, the 11th Asian Art Biennale, publication and

Launching of an anthology of contemporary Bangladeshi paintings, the Independence Day Photography and Painting Exhibition and many other activities. Some mobile operators sometimes give prizes to the national contributors to inspire them in national building.

GP or Grameen Phone has restored the exterior of the historic Old Railway Station Building in Chittagong as per its original architectural design. GP sponsored to build the Bangla Academy Monument.Mobile operators give different discount facilities and bonuses to its consumers to inaugurate different festivals like Pahela Boishak, Boshonto Boron, Eid Festival and other National days.

Providing Human Aid:

Mobile phone companies play an important role in providing human aids and thus making important impact on society. Through mobile phones the people can know about weather forecast because now a days mobile phone has different functions like hearing music and traffic update as well as making communication. In 1997, when the news was broadcast by cable television that a tornado had hit some villages in Bangladesh many non resident Bangladeshis communicated to their village relatives by VP or Village Phone. Mobile operators also provide relief to the flood affected people and worm clothes to the poor of our society. Cell broadcast facility may be used to covey particular message (i.e. Flood, Cyclone, Epidemic, Health care etc.) to a particular area.

Providing Health Care Facilities:

Mobile operators are now playing important role in health care facilities. They are now working with different N.G.O. s and Government organizations. For example GP or Grameen Phone recently has taken steps to work against AIDS with UNAID. Besides this it also made campaign for Polio Vaccine, blood donation program, awareness for child and mother care, donating fund for cancer hospital. Mobile phone companies also provide facilities for telemedicine. Mobile phone operators sometimes collect fund through sms (short message service) competition for the better treatment of the patients.

Mobile Phone and Internet Service:

Mobile operators have brought rustic change to communication system. Now people can use internet service through their mobile phone to communicate and get information with the rest of the world at a cheap rate. GP has already launched their new internet service through CIC or Community Information Center. Through CIC village people will be able to get information service, collecting and sharing important documents, keeping touch with their relatives who are residing in foreign countries and sharing feelings at a cheap rate. Other mobile operators are also providing internet service side by side at a competitive price.

Mobile Phone and Democracy:

For practicing democracy it is the prerequisite to communicate with each other. Through mobile phone it is possible to communicate each other and take different political activities when and where it is necessary. Local people can communicate with their leaders and inform their problem. For example, Hazera Begum, one VP or Village Phone operator has collected the telephone number of the Prime Minister office and keep it for possible use if necessary (perhaps in an extreme emergency). The operators also have the mobile phone numbers of the local MP (Member of Parliament) to communicate with them. Thus Village Phone has made the people conscious about their right to call Police, MP or even PM in case of need. This is a step forward towards strengthening the base of democracy in the society.

Mobile Phone and Life Style:

Mobile phone has also impact on our lifestyle. Through mobile phone now people can easily pay different utility bills like water, electricity and gas bill. Before this people had to wait on the queue to pay their bills which wasted their valuable time and energy. Women can know different food recipe through their mobile phone and cook delicious foods for their family members and guests. These reduced our cost for leading a standard life.

Industry Analysis: Overview of the Mobile Phone Operators in Bangladesh:

Grameen Phone

Grameenphone is one of the largest private sector investments in the country with an accumulated investment of BDT 7600+ crore up to May 2007. Grameenphone is also one the largest taxpayers in the country, having contributed nearly BDT 5000 crore in direct and indirect taxes to the Government Exchequer over the years. Of this amount, BDT 2000+ crore was paid in 2006 alone.

GP was also the first operator to introduce the pre-paid service in September 1999. It established the first 24-hour Call Center, introduced value-added services such as VMS, SMS, fax and data transmission services, international roaming service, WAP, SMS-based push-pull services, EDGE, personal ring back tone and many other products and services.

Grameenphone nearly doubled its subscriber base during the initial years while the growth was much faster during the later years. It ended the inaugural year with 18,000 customers, 30,000 by the end of 1998, 60,000 in 1999, 193,000 in 2000, 471,000 in 2001, 775,000 in 2002, 1.16 million in 2003, 2.4 million in 2004, 5.5 million in 2005, 7.15 million in 2006 and it ended with 8.50 million customers in the middle of 2007.

From the very beginning, Grameenphone placed emphasis on providing good after-sales services. In recent years, the focus has been to provide after-sales within a short distance from where the customers live. There are now more than 600 GP Service Desks across the country covering nearly all upazilas of 61 districts. In addition, there are nine GP Customer Centers in all the divisional cities and they remain open from 8am-8pm every day including all holidays.

GP has generated direct and indirect employment for a large number of people over the years. The company presently has more than 3,000 full, part-time and contractual employees. Another 70,000 people are directly dependent on Grameenphone for their livelihood, working for the GP dealers, retailers, scratch card outlets, suppliers, vendors, contractors and others.In addition, the Village Phone Program, also started in 1997, provides a good income-earning opportunity to more than 200,000 mostly women Village Phone operators living in rural areas. The Village Phone Program is a unique initiative to provide universal access to telecommunications service in remote, rural areas. Administered by Grameen Telecom Corporation, it enables rural people who normally cannot afford to own a telephone to avail the service while providing the VP operators an opportunity to earn a living.

The Village Phone initiative was given the “GSM in the Community” award at the global GSM Congress held in Cannes, France in February 2000. Grameenphone was also adjudged the Best Joint Venture Enterprise of the Year at the Bangladesh Business Awards in 2002.

Grameenphone considers its employees to be one of its most important assets. GP has an extensive employee benefit scheme in place including Gratuity, Provident Fund, Group Insurance, Family Health Insurance, Transportation Facility, Day Care Centre, Children’s Education Support, Higher Education Support for employees, in-house medical support and other initiatives.

Table 1: GrameenPhone – At a Glance

Events Particulars
1 Obtaining License November 28,1996
2 Commercial Launching March 26,1997
3 Products Post-Paid and Pre-Paid
Post-Paid GP Regular: Both way BTTB Connectivity + ISD connection

GP National: With BTTB Incoming Connectivity

GP- anytime 300

GP- anytime 450

Pre-Paid Smile Pre-Paid

Smile Standard


4 Sales & Information centers There are now more than 600 GP Service Desks across the country covering nearly all upazilas of 61 districts. In addition, there are nine GP Customer Care Centers in all the divisional cities.
5 Network Coverage So far, GrameenPhone has covered 61 districts along with all divisional H/Qs.
6 Technology GP uses GSM (Global System for Mobile) technology

Source: Newspaper Clippings and Website

Table 2: Customer Growth of GrameenPhone

Year Customer Base Growth Rate Remarks
1997 18,000 100% Average Growth Rate: 123 %
1998 30,000 67%
1999 60,000 100%
2000 193,000 222%
2001 470,000 144%
2002 750,000 60%
2003 1,050,000 40 %
2005 3,699,000 252%
2006 4,50,000 300.6%

Source: Newspaper Clippings

International Roaming

GrameenPhone became the first mobile phone operator in Bangladesh to offer its subscribers International Roaming facilities in March 1999.GP subscribers who have the International Roaming facility can use their mobile phones in foreign countries where GrameenPhone has partner networks. Subscribers of partner networks will also be able to use their mobile phones while visiting Bangladesh.

Advertisement & Promotion

GP has managed to develop and design the A&P materials from in-house since GP has its own DTP (Desktop Publishing) unit. However, at the early stage of service, GP appointed Roop Adverting Agency as GPs adverting agency.


GP has a very affluent Branding team and already established an accountable image in Bangladesh market as GrameenPhone …in the hands of the people…

CityCell was offered a cellular license in Bangladesh by the Ministry of Post and Telecommunication on March 1990. In June 2005 45% share of City Cell has been acquired by SingTel (Singapore Telecommunications Limited).3.2 Citycell:

Table 3: CityCell – At a Glance

Events Particulars
1 Obtaining License March 1990.
2 Commercial Launching August 1993.
3 Products Post-Paid and Pre-Paid
Post-Paid Shabar Phone (Mobile 250)


Amar Phone

CityCell Premium

Pre-Paid Aalap 24, Aalap B, Aalap Call me
4 Sales and information centers 2 in Dhaka, 1 in Chittagong and 1 in Syhlet.
5 Network Coverage Citycell has covered 61 districts along with all divisional H/Qs
6 Technology CDMA

Source: Newspaper Clippings and Website

Table 4: Customer Growth of CityCell

Year Customer Base Growth Rate
1997 11,000 100%
1998 19,000 73%
1999 25,649 35%
2000 32,000 25%
2001 49,500 55%
2002 102,000 106%
2003 235,000 130%
2005 325,000 38%
May, 06 750,000 107%

Source: Newspaper Clippings

Benefits of CDMA

Superior voice quality and clarity by eliminating background noise.

Low power consumption; hence higher talk time, enhanced battery life.

Minimum health risks compared to other wireless technologies.

Increased security and privacy as none other then the called person can listen to your conversation.

Higher data transfer rates.

Reduced interference on other electronic devices.

Vision of Banglalink:
Sheba was offered a cellular license in Bangladesh by the Ministry of Post and Telecommunication on November 11,1996. Sheba launched its service on August 31, 1998. Later on Orascom took over the company, now it is called Banglalink.3.3 Bangla Link

“Banglalink understands people’s needs best and will create and deliver appropriate communication services to improve people’s life and make it easier”

Table 5: Banglalink – At a Glance

Events Particulars
1 Products Pre-Paid and Post-Paid
Pre-Paid Pre-Paid M2M

Pre-Paid M2M Plus

Pre-Paid Standard or Banglalink Desh.

Post-Paid Post-Paid Standard (350 Tk. Monthly line rent + ISD)

Post-Paid (350 Tk. Monthly line rent + PSTN-Incoming + outgoing)

Post-Paid Mobile to Mobile (150 Tk. Monthly line rent)

2 Sales and information centers 2 in Dhaka, 1 in Chittagong, 1 in Sylhet, 1 in Rajshahi and 1 in Khulna.
3 Network Coverage 61 districts along with all divisional H/Qs
4 Technology GSM

Source: Newspaper Clippings and Website

3.4 Tele Talk

Teletalk Bangladesh Limited


In Bangladesh, mobile telephone was opened to private sector for more than a decade during which four mobile operators came up to serve the people in this sector. But they could not fulfill the public demand as anticipated, nor could they cover the whole geographical area of the country. Moreover, the quality of service being provided by them were not satisfactory and, above all, their call charges were too high. Under these circumstances, the idea of establishing mobile telephone project (the “Project”) in the public sector was conceived. Title of the Project was ‘10 (Ten) Lakh T&T Mobile Telephone Project (1st Phase – 2.5 Lakh)’ at an estimated cost of Tk.7.96 billion.

Events Particulars
1 Products Pre-Paid and Post-Paid
Pre-Paid Pre-Paid Padma,

Pre-Paid Standard,

Pre-Paid Shapla.

Post-Paid Post-Paid Standard,

Post-Paid Rojonigondha,

Post-Paid Shapla.

2 Sales and information centers 2 in Dhaka, 1 in Chittagong, 1 in Sylhet, 1 in Khulna, 1 in Rajshahi, 1 in Bogura, 1 in Barisal, 1 in Comilla, 1 in Faridpur, 1 in Mymensing.
3 Network Coverage 61 districts along with all divisional H/Qs
4 Technology GSM
BTTB to execute the Project

In ECNEC it was decided to form a separate public limited company for implementation and operation of the Project. Bangladesh Telephone & Telegraph Board (“BTTB”), having longest experience of serving the telecom sector in Bangladesh, undertook initiatives to form the desired company in public sector. In view of the fact that formation of a public limited company involves considerable time and various relevant formalities, it was decided that BTTB should implement the Project and later on the assets out of this process would be taken over by the desired company to be formed for maintenance and operation.

Incorporation of Teletalk

Teletalk Bangladesh Limited (the “Company”) was incorporated on 26 December, 2004 as a public limited company under the Companies Act, 1994 with an authorised capital of Tk.20,000,000,000 being the only government sponsored mobile telephone company in the country. On the same day the Company obtained Certificate of Commencement of Business.

Operating License

The Company has obtained the Cellular Mobile Phone Operator License from Bangladesh Telecom Regulatory Commission (“BTRC”) on 1 September, 2004 for a period of 15 years. Initially the License was issued in the name of BTTB, and subsequently upon application, BTRC has changed the name of the operator as Teletalk Bangladesh Ltd. in place of BTTB. The Company has to operate within the frequency 890.0-895.2/935.0-940.2 Megahertz of GSM band allocated by BTRC for GSMtechnology.
The Project

Basic objectives for which your Company was formed are highlighted here under:

1. To provide mobile telephone service to the people from the public sector;
2. To ensure fair competition between public and private sectors and thereby to safeguard public interest;
3. To meet a portion of unmitigated high demand of mobile telephone;
4. To create a new source of revenue for the government.
Phase-wise and total project cost

In order to ensure timely implementation of the Project, competitiveness and mainly to avoid future dependence on any single supplier the entire Project has been divided into two Packages. Geographically Package I covers greater Dhaka, Sylhet, Faridpur, Barisal and its peripheral area and Package II covers greater Chittagong, Khulna, Bogra and most of the North Bengal districts. Accordingly, BTTB executed supply, installation, testing and commissioning agreements, on turn-key basis, with:

» Siemens AG, Germany, at a cost of US$40.88 million (Tk.2.40 billion); and
» Huawei Technological Co. Ltd., China at a cost of US$35.17 million (Tk.2.06 billion).
Major scope of the Project is as under:
1. Mobile Switching System and Access Network for 250,000 GSM subscribers;
2. GPRS (GSM Packet Radio System) facilities for 2,500 subscribers.
Some major events of Teletalk
Formation of Teletalk Bangladesh Ltd. 26 December, 2004
The Prime Minister inaugurated the telephone

line talking with the President

29 December, 2004
Commercial launching of operation 31 March, 2005
Number of subscribers reached at 100,000 23 June, 2005
Distribution of SIM cards outside Dhaka 27 August, 2005
Participation in the Telecom Fair 2 2 – 24 September, 2005
Commencement of SMS operation 12 October, 2005
Number of subscribers reached 4,00,000 23 December, 2006
The last total number of subscribers 7,00,000 18 April, 2007.

State-owned TeleTalk Bangladesh Limited launched its commercial operation on 31st March 2005 as the country’s fifth cellular operator and first ever in public sector. The company managed by fixed phone operator Bangladesh Telegraph and Telephone Board (BTTB) would spend about USD333 for its 250,000 GSM mobile phones.

Table 6: Customer Base of TeleTalk

Year Customer Base
March, 2006 1,00,000
March, 2007 5,00,000
April, 2007 7,00,000
June, 2007 8,00,000

Source: Newspaper Clippings and Website

3.5 Warid Telecom

Warid Telecom launched its commercial operation on May 10, 2007 as the sixth mobile phone operator in Bangladesh. Warid provides superior service quality, extensive coverage and unmatched features. Besides this it inspires consumers by incomparable voice quality, connectivity and service ranging from online billing to entertainment and game.

Events Particulars
1 Products Pre-Paid and Post-Paid
Pre-Paid Pre-Paid Zem.
Post-Paid Post-Paid Zahi 50 ,

Post-Paid Zahi 125,

Post-Paid Zahi 300.

2 Sales and information centers 4 in Dhaka, 1 in Chittagong, 1 in Sylhet, 1 in Khulna, 1 in Rajshahi, 1 in Bogura, 1 in Barisal.
3 Network Coverage 26 districts along with all divisional H/Qs
4 Technology GSM

Source: Newspaper Clippings and Website

Basic Services
To better manage our calls, Warid provides with Basic services which are immediately available for use as soon as one start using Warid connection.

The Basic Services are as follows:

  • Caller Line Identification
  • Call Waiting / Call Holding
  • Conference Call
  • Call Divert
Product Related Services
To enable consumers to maintain their postpaid and prepaid accounts more conveniently, Warid gives product related services, to ensure that consumers can easily charge up their account with desired amount of airtime, so that they never fall out of the communication loop!

  • Scratch Cards – Warid scratch cards are widely available and can be purchased from any one of our authorized dealers, outlets, franchises and Customer Service Centers. Available in 6 different denominations, these scratch cards can be used by both ZEM users to refill their prepaid accounts and ZAHI users to pay their postpaid bills!
  • Ezee Load and Ezee Charge – Due to maintenance purpose, the service is temporarily unavailable.
  • Ezee Transfer – Due to maintenance purpose, the service is temporarily unavailable.

3.6 Aktel

TM International (BD) Ltd. (TMIB), branding its services as “AKTEL” is in operation in Bangladesh since 1997. It is a company incorporated in Bangladesh with the objective of offering the state-of-art and modern telecommunications services to the people of Bangladesh at competitive prices. TMIB received license to operate GSM cellular phone services in Bangladesh in 1996.

The success story started with the commercial launch of AKTEL services in Bangladesh as a GSM 900 cellular phone operator on November 15, 1997. After the tremendous success in Dhaka, TMIB has started its operation in Chittagong in March 26, 1998. In the same year they expanded their coverage in Narayanganj the Business City and an important one closer to the capital city Dhaka. They have also reached the city with biggest beach of the world Cox’s Bazar. Now AKTEL is covering 61 districts of Bangladesh

AKTEL has achieved a prestigious award in telecommunication sector “TeleLink Telecommunication Award 2006” for the “Better Mobile Service Provider in Bangladesh”, which is organized by Bangladesh Mobile Phone Business Association (BMBA). The award itself states the dedication of AKTEL towards customers nevertheless the commitment of AKTELto achieve success in customer satisfaction has been signified.

Share in percentage of TMIB & AKTEL

Events Particulars
1 Products Pre-Paid and Post-Paid
Pre-Paid Aktel Joy,

Aktel Power,

Aktel phurti.

Post-Paid Post-Paid Standard.
2 Sales and information centers 5 in Dhaka, 1 in Chittagong, 1 in Sylhet, 1 in Khulna, 1 in Rajshahi, 1 in Bogura, 1 in Barisal, 1 in Comilla.
3 Network Coverage 61 districts along with all divisional H/Qs
4 Technology GSM

Source: Newspaper Clippings and Website

Major Milestones of AKTEL:

AKTEL is a mobile operator in Bangladesh, which concentrates on offering GSM communication services for private and corporate customers. The company’s intention is to promote the wireless lifestyle – the complete mobile society. AKTEL is renowned for bringing new service offers in Bangladesh. Below, some of the first time offers are mentioned:

First time introduced the Mobile to Mobile + BTTB incoming facility for AKTEL subscribers through ‘Mobile Plus’ in Bangladesh.

First time introduced the Seamless Coverage through out the Dhaka-Chittagong Highway and named it as ‘Chittagong Dhaka Corridor (CDC)’.

First time introduced the full-fledged IVR (Integrated Voice Response) based Customer Services (Call Center) in telecom market.

First time introduced cellular services in the most northern part of Bangladesh by launching AKTEL Service in Rangpur and Dinajpur in 2002.

First time introduced the automatic system generated bill amount and payment request for the Post-paid subscribers in 2002. The automatic unbarring facility, after necessary payment making by the subscribers, is also a part of this system.

First time introduced Electronic Recharge Facility called E-fill in Bangladesh

First time introduced Message Greeting System with FunDose in Bangladesh

First time introduced 30 second Pulse Rate in Bangladesh. Recently AKTEL has introduced 10-second pulse rate for the pre-paid users and 1 second pulse for the post-paid users.

First time introduced GPRS (General packet of radio service) with two months FREE trial for the post-paid subscribers.

First time introduced Club Membership Offer for the Exclusive users of AKTEL. The club is known as “Club Magnate”, which offers extra services with its Platinum, Gold and Sliver cards.

Vision & Mission:

Vision: To be a leader as a Telecommunication Service Provider in Bangladesh

Mission: AKTEL aims to be achieve it’s vision through being number “one” not only in term of market share, but also by being an employer of choice with up-to-date knowledge and products geared to address the ever changing needs of our budding nation.


AKTEL always strives to uphold the dictum “Customer First”

The Business Slogan “Clearly Ahead”

The whole is the sum of parts and when the best come together; the results can be truly spectacular. TMIB brings AKTEL Mobile phone service, a digital cellular phone service, which will prepare better for life in the fast lane. AKTEL GSM always keeps so near, even when so far.

3.7 Market Share of Mobile Phone Companies in Bangladesh:

Presently, AKTEL has a total market share of 25% with GrameenPhone having 62%, CityCell 7%, and Banglalink 5%. The new public company, TeleTalk, has a share of 1% within the span of 1 month since its inception.

Table 7: Market share of the mobile operators

Operators Market Share
GrameenPhone 47%
CityCell 13%
Banglalink 15%
TeleTalk 2.90%
Warid Telecom .10%

Source: Newspaper Clippings and Website.

Chart 3: Market Share of Mobile Companies in BD

Source: Newspaper Clippings and Website.

Table 8: Strategies and slogans of mobile operators

Mobile Operators Strategy Slogan
CityCell Proven dependability Because We Care
AKTEL Modernity Clearly Ahead
Banglalink Making mobile affordable You, First
GrameenPhone Communication for every body In the hands of people
TeleTalk User friendly Amader Phone
Warid Telecom Providing superior quality Be heard

Source: Company Website

Table 9: A Comparative Study of the Mobile Phone Companies

Operators Technology Date of launching Ownership Equipment Suppliers No’s of subscribers
AKTEL GSM November”97 70% Telekom Malaysia, 30% AK khan Alcatel,

Ericsson, Huawei

Grameen Phone GSM April”97 61% Telenor,

39% Grameen Telecom

Ericsson 8,000,000
CityCell CDMA August”93 55% Pacific Group, 45% SingTel Motorola 9,50,000
Banglalink GSM September”98 100% Orascom Telecom Limited Siemens, Huawei 35,000,000
TeleTalk GSM March 2005 100% BTTB Alcatel, Siemens 7,00,000
Warid Telecom GSM May 2007 100% Dhabi Group Eriksson, Nokia, Motorola 50,000

Source: Company Website

3.8 Barriers to Entry:

Analysis on the overall telecommunication industry in Bangladesh shows a high barrier to entry in the industry.

The barrier is high because-

The entry involves a substantial capital requirement/initial investment (such as setting up network towers, tower maintenance cost, government tax, administrative cost, HR cost, promotional cost etc.)

Because of the high fixed cost involved in the operation, it is hard to achieve the desired level of Economies of Scale.

Switching cost in this industry is very high and involves a large capital loss.

Bangladesh is a too risky market to penetrate successfully (high political and economical risks, uncertain weather conditions etc.).

The industry faces high government restrictions due to their complicated policies such as the enforcement of recent VAT policy on each SIM card.

The brand identity or image of six present operators (GP, AKTEL, CityCell, Banglalink, TeleTalk and Warid) is highly strong in the market, which will make it difficult for the new entrants to make an individual identity.

Due to the absence of proper patent rules on technology, the practice of imitation is high and there is no protection on intelligence flow from companies to companies.

The only factor making it easy for the new entrants is the access to distribution channels (dealers, distributors), which is high.

3.9 Rivalry among Existing Firms:

Analysis on the overall telecommunication industry in Bangladesh shows a high level of rivalry among existing firms due to the following reasons:

Telecommunication industry is a fast growing industry in Bangladesh. Therefore, the level of competition is high since the companies have to cope up with the fast changing needs of customers by offering new services on a regular basis.

The practice of aggressive marketing, which has created a promotional battle among the companies, has intensified the rivalry.

Telecommunication is an industry with high fixed costs. This has enhanced the competition among the operators, as the firms are forced to cut price to enable them to operate at capacity.

Differentiation, both real and perceived, among competing offerings is low, which further has boosted the rivalry in the industry.

Difficulty of exit from the industry has increased the level of competition.

However, comparing to the market size of mobile phone users in Bangladesh (the potential market size is 15 million; source: newspaper), the number of competitors in the industry is low. There are only 5 private and 1 public companies operating in the industry. Among these companies, only 5 offer GSM technology and 1 offers CDMA technology. Lower number of competitors has narrowed the competition to some extent.

4. Limitations and recommendations:

Today, mobile phones have become an almost irreplaceable device as people are able to stay linked to friends, family and workplaces every hour of the day. The convenience, entertainment and extra functions they offer have led to their use by the masses in countries all around the world. However, while their popularity has proliferated, unfortunately mobile phone etiquette and common courtesy has become a somewhat slower concept rarely used and it creates a negative impact on the society.

4.1 Limitations of mobile phone:

As mobile phone usage rises, more people are becoming increasingly annoyed at how people use their phones in professional and social environments. The result, as (2001) explains, is Cell Wars – “a social upheaval occurring in the late twentieth and early twenty-first century resulting from the introduction of the cell phone without an accompanying set of manners.” An Internet survey involving 4955 votes, undertaken by (2001), showed 53 per cent of votes agreed that mobile phones should be banned in restaurants, churches, public transit, performances and libraries.

Other situations warranting complaint included people loudly discussing personal matters in public places; intrusive ring tones; not turning off phones during social occasions such as in cinemas, weddings and funerals; ringing during serious business meetings, lectures and seminars; using mobile phones while driving and not paying attention to the road; and interrupting conversations to answer a mobile phone call. Of a more serious nature, under the Commonwealth Crimes Act 1914 – Part VIIB, Section 85 ZE, it is an offence for a person to knowingly or recklessly use a telecommunications service supplied by a carrier in such a way as would be regarded by reasonable persons being, in all the circumstances, offensive to others (Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association, 2003). The addition of cameras on mobile phones has led to some people recording inappropriate images and sending them. They are also often misused to take photos in places where normal cameras are not allowed.

The late night reduced call rate also creating negative impact to the physical and mental health of young generation because they talk with their male or female friends after midnight. Continuously practising of this habit not only hampering their health but also their educational life. As mobile phones become more useful, crimes such as spam mail and “digital shoplifting” (stealing published information by using a phone’s digital camera) are continuing to increase.

Most of the villages where the VP or Village Phones are situated at outer edge of the cells, sometimes signals fluctuate. This results in frequent drop calls, loss of revenue and customers dissatisfaction. Besides this, power for charging the battery is another problem. There are villages with network coverage, but without electricity. The number of such villages is increasing as mobile phone operators are now establishing their network in remote village area.

4.2 Recommendations:

The revolution of mobile phones has radically changed the world of telecommunications. Society has to invent and implement rules in order for this device to be used without creating frustration and annoyance. Even today, mobile phone etiquette is still evolving.

Telstra (2000) offers a few tips in regards to respecting the personal space of others and using a mobile phone. These include: turning off loud or annoying ring tones; adjusting ring tone or volume to the social environment; putting phone on silent or vibrator to avoid disturbing others; speaking quietly rather than shouting; keeping conversations brief; letting mobile phones divert to message services if in the company of others; finding a private place to talk if around a group of people; never dial, talk and drive; and asking permission of a person before recording his/her image on a mobile phone.

The mobile phone companies should be more careful to arrange their service plan and call rates so that the mobile will continuously act as a blessing to the society. Besides these, the mobile phone companies should be more careful to arrange their service plan and call rates so that the mobile will continuously act as a blessing to the society. New external high gain antena should be set up which will ensure smooth call completion at ares of weak signal. This will extend coverage for VP operator without further investment in network expansion. Fixed Wireless Terminal (FWT) may be another solution for extended coverage with good quality but it will cost at least double the present cost of mobile cell-phone. Solar panel and DC batteries may be used as alternatives to run the BTS station.

5. Conclusion

Mobile phone is very much related with our social life. The mobile phone is used for real time coordination while on the run; adolescents use it to manage their freedom, and teenager’s text to each other day and night. The mobile phone is more than a simple technical innovation or social fad, more than just an intrusion on polite society. Though cell phone has various positive and negative impacts on our society, its positive impact is more than negative. In this technology dependent society no society can be thought without cell phone. For maintaining social communication and social structure it has a vital need. Cell phone companies should be more careful for the betterment of the society.