Boston, MA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 03/04/2014 -- In the near- to medium term, the outlook for Bangladesh's telecommunications market offers few bright spots for investors. Although 3G services have been licensed, it may be some time before uptake achieves critical mass and, in meanwhile, there is dissatisfaction among operators with their lot as the state takes a more interventionist role in the market. To add to the troubles, the government appears willing to allow WiMAX operators to migrate to LTE, although they recognise LTE-enabled VoIP services could undermine mobile operators' 3G investments. Mobile operators report further ARPU shrinkage as voice usage dwindles, meaning they will have to work hard to replace that revenue with income from 3G-enabled mobile broadband services. New data show the wireline market is declining faster than previously reported and this impacts on the fixed broadband market. This should mean latent demand for broadband services pushes users towards mobile services, but pricing and device availability will be key to success.
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Key Trends And Developments
The government has permitted WiMAX operators Banglalion and Qubee to switch to LTE technology. This has prompted failed WiMAX licence applicants Ollo and Mango Teleservices to apply for LTE concessions of their own. The potential for these new players to undermine the mobile market cannot be underestimated, although the existing players - with their 3G concessions - have the scale, the financial might and the addressable market to aggressively defend their territory. We foresee numerous legal challenges from both sides of the market, which will do little to foster investor confidence.
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