Bangladesh offers a great example of how the mobile market can contribute to economic growth, according to a new report from GSMA Intelligence, the GSMA’s new market research arm. And it also helps to illustrate the importance of government support, with biometric registration now a requirement for mobile subscribers in the country.
The GSMA says that in 2015, the country’s mobile sector, accounted for 6.2 percent of its GDP, with a contribution value at about $13 billion. That puts its performance close to the average metrics of its neighbors, even though it has a slightly lower mobile subscriber penetration, at 53 percent. Going forward, GSMA Intelligence expects the market to grow to a value of $17 billion by 2020, with the number of jobs in the sector rising from 780,000 last year to 850,000.
It’s a notable performance given the government’s recently-imposed requirement of biometric registration of mobile subscribers, a move aimed at building security against criminals and terrorists keen to obtain phones under assumed identities. How this regulation affects the mobile sector’s market dynamics is a complicated question, but it’s worth noting that in GSMA Intelligence’s new report, GSMA Head of Spectrum Brett Tarnutzer asserts that by “systematically pursuing a policy framework that increases certainty, acknowledges market realities and removes regulatory barriers to investment and innovation,” the Bangladeshi government can further enrich the market in the years to come.