New mobile operator enters booming Bangladesh market

DHAKA, May 10, 2007 (AFP) – Bangladesh’s sixth mobile phone operator, Warid Telecom, launched operations Thursday aiming to grab a slice of one of the world’s fastest growing markets, an official said. Owned by the Gulf-based Abu Dhabi Group, Warid Telecom, is counting on five million subscribers in the first year of its operation, company spokesman Zeeshan Kingshuk Huq told AFP.

“We have launched operations today covering around 70 per cent (of the) population of the country with more than 900 network base stations,” he said.

Another 200 stations would be added within the next week.

“Bangladesh is one of the fastest growing markets in the world. And we hope we can grab a big share by offering better value added services, competitive tariffs and European standard network quality,” he said.

Much of Bangladesh, with a population of 144 million, may be impoverished but the market has soared from one million subscribers to 23 million in less than five years.

The figure is expected to cross 50 million by 2009 on the back of strong economic growth.

GrameenPhone, a subsidiary of Norwegian telecom company Telenor, leads the market with a more than 50 percent market share while Te