Telecommunication Business in Bangladesh
The telecommunications sector in Bangladesh is characterized by very low tele-density,
inefficiency, and under-capitalization. BTTB did not have sufficient interconnection
capacity to meet the demands of the mobile service providers. Historically, the state-
owned BTTB has been the monopoly telephone service provider.
In a bid to improve the efficiency and ability of the BTTB, Bangladesh initiated a
restructuring program in the telecom sector to corporatism BTTB. This plan is yet to
materialize because of resistance from the BTTB employees.
However, the government allowed private sector participation in the mainline sector by
awarding mainline telecom licenses to two private operators in 1989 (Bangladesh Rural
Telecom Authority (BRTA) and Sheba Telecom Pvt. Ltd.
The advent of mobile phone technology has given a unique opportunity for countries to
have an alternative source for telecom service. The relatively lower start-up costs, easy
accessibility, and suitability of any geographic location for a mobile network helped
mobile telephony to become popular quickly.
Bangladesh is the pioneer among LDCs, opening its mobile phone sector for private and
foreign investment in 1989. Pacific Telecom launched the country's first mobile phone
service. Subsequently, three more mobile phone licenses were issued, in 1996, 2004 and
The opening up of the mobile phone sector by Bangladesh was done independently, not
as part of an international agreement. Liberalization of trade and investment
independently, without any binding from any international agreements, is known as
The telecommunication sector of Bangladesh has changed dramatically within 2 years.
The incentives both from government and private sectors have helped to grow this sector.
In Bangladesh telecommunication sector are basically divided into two parts & these are-
1. Public Sector
2. Private Sector.
Bangladesh Telegraph and Telephone (T&T) Department was created under the Ministry
of Posts & Telecommunications after the independence of Bangladesh in 1971 to run the
telecommunication services on a commercial basis. In 1976 Bangladesh T&T
Department was converted into a corporate body.
Today 'BTTB' provides land-line telephone services in the urban areas, domestic long-
distance and international services. Though the Bangladesh government has given out
nationwide PSTN licenses the lucrative Dhaka market (which account for majority of the
nationwide market) is still under the monopoly of BTTB.
In 2004 BTTB forayed in to the mobile telephony market of Bangladesh by launching a
subsidiary company called Teletalk.
BTTB provides dial-up Internet access in all 64 districts of the country, making it the
most-accessible Internet service provider in the country. It also handles the .bd domain.
Of the public-sector outlay for communications totaling Tk.23, 784 million (USD 1 = Tk.
40), 91% has been earmarked for the BTTB. The financial outlay would be used to install
and expand digital exchanges, install national and international trunk lines, innovative
programmers like data communication network and information technology.
As of January 2008 total subscriber of BTTB was 0.872 million.
The Government has opened the telecommunications market to the private sector. The
Government acknowledges the private sector's increasing resolve and ability to meet the
growth demands of the country, as well as the fact that the private sector now becomes a
much stronger force in telecommunications development. The Government will provide
all assistance to make the private sector more vibrant and robust in keeping with their
anticipated role in the coming years.
There are 5 private mobile phone operators in Bangladesh. These are:
1. Grameenphone Ltd. & Djuice
Private Sector’s Mobile Phone Subscribers
The total number of Mobile Phone Subscribers has reached 36.55 million at the end of
The Mobile Phone subscribers are shown below:
Grameen Phone Ltd. (GP) 17.20
Warid Telecom International (Warid) 2.60
Objective of the Private Sector Telecommunication Business
Want to achieve an attractive amount of profit.
Maintain a healthy average gross margin.
Develop a business model that is favorable to expansion.
Some special services added such as data services, access to Internet (including
electronic mail), voice mail, MMS - all at an affordable cost without
compromising performance to reach the customer.
The freedom for exchange of information is recognized as an important element
of human rights and efforts are to be made to provide people with greater access
to all information’s, except the ones that are considered harmful to the society,
prejudicial to national interest and security.
Access to and delivery of a full range of modern, sophisticated, efficient and cost
effective services of both basic as well as value added service(VAS) in
telecommunications are to be provided to as many people as is economically and
socially justifiable to ensure universal access.
Creation of an environment of competition in the field of telecommunications
enhancing rapid development in volume, efficiency and accessibility, shall be
ensured to make telecom services available within the affordable limit of the
Research and development activities to facilitate the absorption of new
technology and to upgrade the facilities and services in telecommunications are to
be encouraged and the regional cooperation in telecommunication sector is to be
enhanced through common development and operational strategies and network
standards continuous updating of information on new and latest technology and
transfer of the same for the benefit of the users, shall be encouraged.
Human resource development being in tandem with the need of the
telecommunications sector, standards and qualifications for different categories of
personnel of all operators are to be set based on their services.
Protection of the users' interests shall be ensured regarding the services provided,
facilities offered, technology used and prices charged.
They are required to keep abreast of trends in demand, establish or expand the
services, upgrade the infrastructures and introduce the new ones on the basis of
the most advantageous technical and economic approach.
Customer satisfaction is the paramount missions of the telecommunication business. This
will endeavor to meet the highest standards of excellence through superb customer
service and consistent product delivery in a friendly and comforting environment.
This sector seeks fair and responsible profit and ensures continued growth and
development. Responsible profit will fairly compensate owners and investors for their
risk, and reward employees for their hard work, loyalty and commitment.
Employee welfare, participation, and training are equally important to the success. Every
single telecom organizations employee will be treated fairly, with dignity and the utmost
respect. It is their responsibility to provide employees with a friendly, comfortable and
challenging work environment with opportunities for growth and development.
The mission of the telecommunication business builds a strong economic basement for
our country. So, that it can meet the demand of current era ensuring placement both
locally as well as globally.
Keys to Success
Locations: visibility, convenient access.
Office design: visually attractive, relaxed atmosphere, fast and efficient
Package: differentiation, competitive & new package.
Quality controls: genetically modified consistency, clean presentation.
Service: cheerful, professional, articulate and informative.
Marketing: positive image, educational, word-of-mouth advertising.
Employee retention: training, ongoing education, recognition programs.
SWOT analysis is a careful evaluation of an organization’s internal strengths and
weakness and external opportunities and threats.
In SWOT analysis, the best strategy is accomplish organizations mission by
a) Exploiting an organization’s opportunities and strengths
b) Neutralizing it’s threats and
c) Avoiding and correcting its weakness.
Organization’s Strengths are the skills or capabilities that enable an organization to
conceive and implement its strategies. In telecommunication business strength is –
Most of the telecommunications companies in Bangladesh are now joining with large
foreign investor and others are directly foreign investor comes into the market. All of
these foreign companies are well established in many countries, capital is a big strength
for these companies in Bangladesh.
Grameenphone joined with Telenor, Sheba bought by Orascom and Dhabi come
Bangladesh by named Warid Telecom.
All the Companies have huge amount of capital and they offer attractive salary to the
employee. That’s why highly skilled people are comes to work. So, strong office
management and highly skilled marketing executive are important strength for them.
They have skilled marketing executive. They build policies that can attract customer and
build customer relation to retain customers.
GP and AKTEL give some extra benefit who are long time using their service. And also
offer for reactive those customer who are inactive.
Some companies are giving their service for a long time in Bangladesh. Customer know
them very well and rely on there service. Other companies who are new and directly
invested by foreign investor, they also have goodwill in working many other countries.
GP have built strong belief on customer mind that they have strong network system &
this is their one kind of goodwill .
Now a day’s internet has become an important part of our life. We are depending on
internet on various sectors. Most of mobile companies are now giving broadband internet,
mobile internet and WAP service. And others are going give the facilities.
For Example: GP, AKTEL, Citycell and Warid Telecom giving WAP and Internet
All operators have huge amount of capital. They are using upgraded and high powerful
expensive equipment. So, they can give a quality service to the customers and satisfy
Some of operators are working long time in Bangladesh. So, they know what kind of
sales promotion and new offer should take. Others have experience in working in many
other countries. They can implement their experience in our country.
GP, AKTEL and Citycell have working in our country for a long time and Orascom and
Dhabi has experience in working many other countries.
Attributes of the organization that is harmful to achieving the objective. There have some
weaknesses also telecommunication sector. These are:
Though huge amount of investment and high performance equipments are using by all
companies, but no one can give full network coverage. There are no competitions on
those areas where all competitors are not available.
AKTEL network is only available in Sent Martine.
Value added Services:
Now days all operators are competing each other by only call rate, FnF etc. That’s why
some value added services like mobile TV; MMS from one operator to another is still not
given by them.
Some companies are fully concentrated on sales promotion and billing. They are not
giving attention to upgrading the network system. Some of them have huge existing
network system so changing the whole system is big pressure for them, because it is very
much expensive. So, customers are bored by unclear sound and busy network & for this
reason they are changing the operator.
Banglalink user are facing problem with unclear sound and they have to try many times
to find a connection.
All mobile operators are now depending on foreign investment. No one is self dependent
and do their business alone.
External conditions that is helpful to achieving the objective. Organizational
opportunities are areas that may generate higher performance. In telecommunication
business their opportunity is —
The number of potential customer is much more than the existing customer. So, they have
the big opportunity to attract those potential customers to serve them.
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Entering in Share Bazaar:
Two large companies GP and AKTEL are entering to share bazaar and some will come in
future. So, they don’t have to depend on foreign invest in future.
Technological up gradation:
Mobile operators have the opportunity to upgrade network and offer new facilities also
reducing maintaining cost.
Organizational threats are the areas that increase the difficulty of an organization
performing at a higher level. In Telecommunication business their threats are given
Weather condition is not stable in our country. Any disaster can arise any time and break
network system. Mobile operation is dependent on electricity and companies have no
strong backup system. If any disaster happens and power supply stopped for more then a
day, they will fail to continue their service.
Competition between mobile operators can become a threat for them, because some
companies not going for profit to attract more customer by giving various competitive
offer. Others also can take same strategy. As a result they may not become profitable
company if they retain the strategy.
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The s-t-p concept of telecommunication business in Bangladesh
Building the right relationships with the right customers is the main intention of the S-T-
P Concept .And the first part is—
Market segmentation ( s ) :
The telecommunication business in Bangladesh has segmented their market in many
ways & these are:
It is the most important segmentation of telecommunication business in Bangladesh. In
Bangladesh there are five private mobile companies. All the companies use this
segmentation. And for this segmentation every mobile company has divided it into two
parts. They are: 1.Prepaid ; 2. Postpaid
Prepaid is a system where we pay for our phone calls in advance. Prepaid gives us the
freedom to use our mobile within our budget. It is an excellent way to speak our
Banglalink Prepaid has network mobility feature which helps a subscriber to move
around where Banglalink has its coverage.
Key Feature of Banglalink Pre-Paid
No monthly subscription fee
One country one rate
30 days extra incoming facility once the validity is over and then 90 days grace
period on scratch card and e-fill (applicable for those customers who recharged
account before February 23rd 2007)
Lifetime validity applies for all the prepaid customers who recharged after
February 23rd 2007 .
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Usually upper level to lower level people & mainly students are using these types of
Post paid is a system where the customer pays his or her phone call bill later.
Here, for example we can use ―AKTEL‖. Just some of the features that the customers
will be enjoying from AKTEL Postpaid (Signature or Signature JOY) include:
Extended FnF service with the option of 1 BTTB number!
Postpaid to Prepaid balance transfer – only AKTEL offers this unique service.
No line rent for airtime usage above TK 500!*
International Roaming – the widest range of roaming partners as well as SMS
roaming ensures greater freedom.
Unlimited GPRS subscription –internet, email, and much more.
Accidental death insurance for 1 lac Taka at absolutely no cost. (For conditions,
Exceptional Customer Care service
* VAT, BTTB charges, line rent and other subscription fees are not included in
Usually businessperson uses these types of packages.
For example we can use “Grameen phone”.
Business Solution package
Business Solution is a complete, quality business communications service from Grameen
phone – designed especially for the business community in Bangladesh. Their Business
Solutions team is help to provide the business people with customized telecommunication
solutions through consultation with them.
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Here, Banglalink can give us a very good example.
Ladies first (Banglalink)
Banglalink ladies, first! is the only telecom package that caters to communication needs
of women of Bangladesh. Ladies, first! Revolves around the concept of community based
communication where women need to talk to certain numbers mostly, to maintain a
perfect balance between professional and personal priorities. Hence ladies, first! offers
1second pulse, 4 FnF. So, that customer can talk at even lower rates to desired numbers.
“Aktel joy‖ is the best example for the couple.
―Aktel joy‖ is a unique package of two prepaid connections that keeps dearest one to stay
near. For people, to whom staying connected to the dearest one is most important, for
them it is the right choice. The two connections are paired with each other and it has the
lowest call rate between the Partners. Having similar rate plan like AKTEL POWER it
also has the highest number of FnF (5 Nos) to any operators. In short, AKTEL JOY
brings joy by letting the dear ones stay closer. Connection Price: Tk.400/- (Two SIMs)
Djuice mainly targeted young
Djuice is the latest brand for young generation. It is an exceptional package of Grameen
phone. Dujice mainly offer for young generation. It offers low call rate. Free sms, fast
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internet system and so on. It creates a passion in young generation. It arrange concert,
sponsor the anti-drug concert and always related with the antidrug activities. It also
arranges a reality show named ―the rock star‖ in ―channel i‖ it has an extra card. If
anyone purchases a djuice sim, then he or she gets an extra card. By use this card anyone
can get discount from the djuice outlet. For example, if anyone gets one ticket from star
Cineplex in bashundhara city he or she will get one free ticket. Now, dujice reduces their
call rate. They offer two fnf in .25 tk call rate. Their sms rate is also low. They offer .50tk
sms rate which is one of the low sms rate among all the mobile company. Above all,
djuice has some individuality that attracts young generation. Among all the mobile
company no one can create such a brand like djuice.
In this segmentation we can use Banglalink enterprise SME.
Banglalink enterprise SME is now with more attractive tariffs and the complete package
customized to suit the needs of the small and medium enterprises.
The salient features of Banglalink enterprise SME are
lowest call rates
1 second pulse
4 FnF numbers
20% bonus on incoming
50 free SMS with every new banglalink SME connection
Target Marketing ( T ) :
The process of evaluating each market segments attractiveness & selecting one or more
segments to enter is called target marketing. After segmentation all the mobile company
targets all those sectors which they are segmented into upper level, middle level & also
lower level people.
Market Positioning ( P ) :
Arranging for a product to occupy a clear, distinctive & desirable place relative to
competing products in the minds of target consumers is called market positioning. In this
business private sectors position are—
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A typical tower of network technology system
The first mobile company in Bangladesh was Citycell & the 2nd mobile company was GP.
But as GP was the 2nd mobile company, they are more popular than Citycell. They are
started their activities with very good networking system. For this reason they capture
most of the customer within a very short time including the rural areas & create a high
position all of their customer mind. That’s why all the people from urban to rural areas
use Grammen phone.
Now days most of the telecommunication company are focusing in advertisement to
capture more customer. They give good advertisement to attract the consumer and they
are successful in this position.
Good jingle and long duration policy of B-link
Banglalink making their advertisement with good jingle and long duration, which makes
the advertisement more attractive for their consumer.
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Low call rate:
For retaining the competitive position, all the telecommunication company need to set up
low price rate. Among all the private telecommunication company, AKTEL give the
lowest call rate. They give 1.00 taka minute call rate for all the operators. Their F&F rate
is 30 paisa and they give five F&F number. Warid also give low call rate. In their
postpaid package zahi, they give 30 F&F number which is occurs first time in
Bangladesh. In their prepaid package zem, they give five F&F & their F&F call rate is 25
paisa. Grammen also give low call rate. But compare to the other telecommunication
company GP’s call rate is high. Because their most of the customers are loyal and their
market share is high. So that, if they do not give low call rate they are even not face loss.
Marketing Mix Strategy of telecommunication business
Marketing mix strategy is the combination of 4ps. They are Product, Price, Promotion,
Product: Product is the total package that fulfills consumer’s need. This sector has to
fulfill the needs of a person like ---
Here, various types of package are the product of all the mobile company. There are
many types of packages.
For Grammen, they have postpaid package; prepaid package like smile, djuice
and so on. They also give a package for businessperson which is called business
For Banglalink, they offer prepaid package like Desh, desh rong, ladies first and
For AKTEL, their package is AKTEL power, exceed, AKTEL joy and so on.
For Warid, they have postpaid package zahi and prepaid package zem.
For Citycell, they are only give CDMA system in Bangladesh and their package
is Citycell one; Hello 1, 2, 3 and so on.
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In our country, there are some packages which become a brand for us. Such as, Djuice is
a brand name of telecommunication sector in Bangladesh.
Sometimes mobile companies are doing packaging. Such as, some days ago Grammen
gives a offer to it’s customer that if anyone purchase a smile sim then he or she get a
nokia 1100i mobile set with a 50 taka free talktime, 50 free sms, 7 free ringtones and 7
free welcome tunes. And the total price of this package is 2499 taka.
Banglalink was also giving this type of packages. Their offer was-if anyone purchases a
Banglalink sim, then he or she get 6 Banglalink scratch card free, 1 mobile set free and
1000 free sms.
Offering this type of packages, mobile companies are doing packaging.
Price: Pricing strategies usually change as the product passes through its life cycle.
In telecommunication business if any new company is in introductory stage then they
may use market penetration & market skimming for their pricing strategies.
Banglalink and Warid were using market penetration when they were entering in
telecommunication business market. In this situation, Banglalink and Warid face loss but
they are still doing this because they want to capture the market and need more market
On the other hand, Grammen phone and Citycell was using market skimming when they
were entering the market. At first, GP’s call rate was 7.00 per minute. But now they
reduce their call rate and that is now 25 paisa per minute in F&F number & tk.1.30 all the
Place: Place is where the product will be explain. In telecommunication business we
are showing the place following the way:
Producer-------------- wholesaler-------------- retailer----------- consumer
At first producer sale sim to the wholesaler, then the wholesaler sale the sim to the
retailer then the consumer can buy the sim. Through this channel, this sim’s are
distributed in most of the telecom stores.
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Warid telecom stores
Scratch cards are also distributed in same way .So that customer can get their service
The telecommunication business usually does their promotional activities by advertising,
because advertising is a good way to communicating with customers. For advertising
they use different types of celebrity, different types of story, good jingle etc.
Advertisement of AKTEL Advertisement of Warid Telecom
The telecommunication business also practices personal selling. Sometimes the sales
peoples of any mobile company do these types of selling. They come to the customers
and sell SIM.
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Sales promotion means any short time incentives. Almost all mobile companies are doing
AKTEL gives an offer that if the customers register their AKTEL SIM within 31st
march 2008 then the customers can call 1tk min in any operator.
Some features which we get in the private telecommunication
o SMS (Short Messaging Service)
SMS is fun, convenient and a private way to communicate with someone without actually
talking to them.
o International SMS
Warid international SMS allows us to send and receive SMSs to/and from hundreds of
o Caller Line Identification (CLI)
See the name and number of the person calling us on our handset screen - know our caller
name without picking up the phone.
o Call Waiting/Call Hold
Don’t miss out on second calls when we are talking another person. With call waiting/call
hold, handle a second incoming call (or make an outgoing call) while already on the
phone with someone else.
o Conference Call
Possible to talk more than one friend at the same time. The conference call feature allows
us to be connected to up to 5 persons simultaneously.
o Call Divert
In case we are busy in a meeting, or traveling outside of coverage, divert the calls to
another number the voicemail, where messages for us can be left.
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Strategic Analysis of telecommunication business
BCG Growth Share Matrix:
A portfolio planning method that evaluates a company’s strategic business units in terms
of their market growth rate and relative market share. Strategic business unit (SBU) is
classified as stars, cash cow, question marks & dog.
Star: Stars are high growth, high share business or products.
Cash Cow: Cash cows are low growth, high share business or products.
Dog: Dogs are low growth, low share business and products.
Question Mark: Question marks are low share business units in high growth markets.
Using the BCG Matrix we can define telecommunication business, Strategic
business unit (SBU) in following way:
Grameen Phone :
In GP their market share & also market growth is in high rate. So, this is called star
situation. GP often need heavy investment to finance their rapid growth. Eventually,
their growth will slow down & they will turn into cash cows. So, it is necessary to hold
their position in high, both of market share & growth rate.
In Citycell Phone Company their market growth rate is low but their market share is in
high position. So, this situation is called cash cows. Citycell Phone Company is in
harvest position that means, they are stable in their growth rate. So it is necessary to
increase their market growth rate & also produce a lot of cash to hold their market share.
Banglalink & Aktel :
Banglalink & Aktel both of these company creates low share business units in growth
markets. So , Banglalink & Aktel are in questions marks situation. Here, both of this
company management has to think hard about which questions marks it should try to
build into stars & which should be phased.
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Stars ( Hold ) Questions
( Build )
Cash Cows (Harvest) Dog ( Divest)
Relative Market Share
BCG Share Growth Matrix
Warid Telecom :
Because of new company, lacking of promotional activities like – advertisement,
publicity etc Warid Telecom share is in low position & also market growth is in low
rate.This is the position of dog. It is necessary to maintain their business strategy both of
market rate & market share. Otherwise, they will be always in divesting situation.
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The Product Life Cycle (PLC) of telecommunication business
The course of a product’s sales & profits over its lifetime is called the PLC. It involves 5
1. Introduction stage,
2. Growth stage,
3. Maturity stage &
4. Decline stage.
In telecommunication business we are showing their PLC in the following way:
In figure a typical PLC of telecommunication business
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1. Introduction stage:
In PLC , introduction stage is the period of slow sales growth. Because Warid Telecom
newly start their business in Bangladesh so, as a new business company Warid Telecom
is in introduction stage. This is their slow sales growth period. As a result, their profits
are not so much existing in this stage.
2. Growth stage:
This stage is a period of rapid marketing acceptance and increasing profits. In this stage,
our countries another two telecommunications company ―Banglalink‖ & ―Aktel‖ is
hardly trying to rapid their market acceptance for their consumer and also trying to
increase their profits.
3. Maturity stage:
Maturity stage is the period of achieving most potential buyers and also the profits. In this
stage, the availability telecommunication company in Bangladesh is Grameen Phone. GP
achieve most of the potential buyers with their good servicing, good networking and
some other good activities. In this stage GP creates a strong position than another
4. Decline stage:
This is the period when sales fall and profits drop .Citycell Company is available in this
decline stage. Their sales decline for many reasons, including technological problem,
poor promotional activities, increase competition, bad networking system etc. But at
present Citycell Company hardly try to overcome in this situation and takes some
necessary steps to overcome in this decline stage.
Developing countries prefer to retain ownership and control over strategic sectors
such as energy, water and telecommunications. For this reason, the Government of
Bangladesh will achieve a more vigorous development through intensified private sector
participation, encouraged by the enabling environment created by the Government; a
more proactive telecommunications industry responsive to users' needs and creation of an
environment with healthier competition & more significant multi-operator participation,
all of which accelerate the reality of universal service.
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2.Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission
4. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.
5. 2008, Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission
6. Jean-Marie Dilhac, From tele-communicare to Telecommunications.
7.International Telecommunication Union
8.The Daily Star , Thursday, March 20, 2008