The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has recorded that mobile phone users in the country reached a total of 68.65 million at the end of December 2010, an annual increase of 31% according to the watchdog’s calculations. Market leader GrameenPhone added 6.7 million subscribers in the year to reach a total of just under 30 million; Orascom Telecom Bangladesh (Banglalink) ended 2010 in second place with 19.3 million customers after signing up a net 5.5 million in the year; third-ranked Axiata Bangladesh (Robi) was credited with over three million new additions to give it 12.4 million network SIMs at end-December. Airtel Bangladesh (formerly known as Warid) added just under one million new subscriptions for a total of nearly four million, whilst in fifth and sixth place, CDMA-based Pacific Bangladesh Telecom (Citycell) and state-run Teletalk had respective totals of 1.8 million and 1.2 million users at end-2010. According to TeleGeography's GlobalComms Database, the overall subscriber growth rate in the mobile sector beat 21.8% in 2009 and 28.5% in 2008, although was lower than 65.2% in 2007.
The database shows that over the last few years each operator’s subscriber take-up rate has fluctuated depending on their level of subsidisation of handsets/SIMs to cover a heavy SIM tax in the country; GrameenPhone for instance, saw a relative slump in its level of customer sign-ups during most of 2009 prompted by a low level of subsidisation but after reintroducing full subsidies its growth rate subsequently shot up again.