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 Friday, July 24, 2009

­The GSMA, which represents the interests of the worldwide mobile communications industry, has urged the Bangladeshi Government to eliminate the tax on SIM cards. The GSMA says that the growth of the mobile industry in Bangladesh has come to a halt due to increases in taxes across the board on mobile services.

The SIM card tax of Tk. 800 (US$11.6) per connection of each new subscriber is the single largest obstacle to the acquisition of new subscribers, constituting a major barrier to growth and blocking new investments in updated mobile networks that provide broadband via mobile infrastructure.

Increased mobile penetration in Bangladesh in recent years has given access to not only voice communication but data access to the internet to rural areas, which were beyond reach otherwise. Today, mobile connections in the country are 46.7 million - 32% penetration but despite this significant growth, Bangladesh remains below its neighboring countries in terms of mobile and internet penetration. Moreover, mobile adoption growth rates have been consistently falling in the last three quarters and now stand below 3% per quarter, which can be directly attributable to this damaging taxation.

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Source: Cellular News