GSMA Reveals Economic Impact of Mobile in Bangladesh

Dhaka – The GSMA today revealed the positive impact of mobile on the Bangladeshi economy and the potential for even further growth and innovation. According to GSMA Intelligence, mobile technologies and services generated 6.2 per cent of the country’s GDP in 2015, a contribution that amounted to around US$13 billion of economic value1. In the same year, mobile operators and the ecosystem provided employment to more than 760,000 people across Bangladesh2.

Bangladesh performs close to the regional averages across metrics of mobile market development, despite a lower income than neighbouring countries. Bangladesh is above the Asian average in terms of unique subscriber market penetration at 53 per cent3, while only slightly below with regard to mobile internet penetration at 33 per cent and 3G at 20 per cent of all mobile connections. There is the potential for further growth if a supportive policy environment is put in place.

“GSMA Intelligence findings clearly demonstrate the substantial contribution that mobile makes to the Bangladeshi economy,” said Brett Tarnutzer, Head of Spectrum, GSMA. “By systematically pursuing a policy framework that increases certainty, acknowledges market realities and removes regulatory barriers to investment and innovation, the Bangladeshi Government and its citizens stand to achieve so much in the coming years.”

In terms of public contribution, the mobile ecosystem generated about 10 per cent of the Bangladeshi Government’s revenue in 2015, valued at US$2.42 billion through general taxation, mobile-specific taxes and spectrum licences.

Looking Ahead to 2020
GSMA Intelligence expects that the economic contribution of the mobile industry in Bangladesh will continue to increase. In value-added terms, it is estimated that the ecosystem will generate US$17 billion by 2020. This forecast relies on a favourable macroeconomic environment and on a moderate expansion in demand and supply in the mobile market, as the number of mobile internet users and mobile coverage both increase.

Employment opportunities are also set to expand from 780,000 jobs in 2016 to 850,000 jobs in 2020, an increase of around nine per cent during that period. Further growth in Bangladesh will be driven by two key developments:

  • Operators will continue to create most value in the ecosystem, followed by distribution and retail and then the infrastructure sector, with the expectation that the contribution from content and services will increase; and
  • Productivity will be increasingly driven by the mobile internet, as a result of coverage improvements and growing user adoption. This will be highly transformative considering the low level of fixed internet connectivity in Bangladesh, which means that the mobile internet will be the primary means for unconnected populations to access the internet.

“The amount of spectrum, and the terms on which it is made available, fundamentally drive the cost, range and availability of mobile services. To ensure that this mobile vision becomes a reality, it is imperative that the spectrum is allocated in a way that encourages rapid deployment of mobile broadband infrastructure, resulting in high quality, affordable mobile services for consumers across Bangladesh,” added Tarnutzer.

Further information about the economic impact of mobile in Bangladesh can be found here:


Notes to Editors
1 This overall impact includes the direct impact of the mobile ecosystem as well as the indirect impact and the increase in productivity brought about by the use of mobile technologies. GDP is estimated to have increased to US$13.5 billion in 2016. Source: GSMA Intelligence.

2 One third of this was created directly in the ecosystem, while the rest is generated indirectly in other sectors as a result of the demand for production inputs generated by the mobile sector. Furthermore, the wages, public funding contributions and profits paid by the industry are spent in other sectors, which provide additional indirect jobs. Jobs are estimated to have increased to 780,000 by end of 2016. Source: GSMA Intelligence.

3 Unique subscribers are individual consumers, versus mobile connections which generally relate to SIM card ownership. A subscriber may have more than one mobile connection.

About the GSMA
The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, uniting nearly 800 operators with almost 300 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset and device makers, software companies, equipment providers and internet companies, as well as organisations in adjacent industry sectors. The GSMA also produces industry-leading events such as Mobile World Congress, Mobile World Congress Shanghai, Mobile World Congress Americas and the Mobile 360 Series of conferences. 

For more information, please visit the GSMA corporate website at Follow the GSMA on Twitter: @GSMA.

Media Contacts
For the GSMA

Adnan R Amin (Bangladesh)
+88 017 5711 1010
[email protected]

GSMA Press Office
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