Bangladesh mobile operators began offering 4G services last month, albeit in limited areas, after gaining the necessary licences.
Though it may be a little late in the game to 4G, the country has a hot mobile phone market that experienced double-digit growth in 2017, according to IDC.
A total of 34.2 million mobile phones were shipped in 2017 with the smartphone market recording a strong 20.6 percent annual growth with 8.1 million units. However, feature phones remained the dominating category with more than two-thirds of the shipment for a healthy 14.8 percent annual growth.
Though 4G wasn’t ready in the country then, one out of three smartphones shipped was a 4G-enabled smartphone.
Global and China-based vendors have already upgraded most of their devices to 4G. Whereas, local vendors still have a large base of 3G smartphones in their portfolio. As the operators have begun rolling out 4G , local vendors have also started aligning their portfolio to remain competitive in this category.
China-based companies continued to strengthen their foothold in the country with a collective share of 33 percent in Q4 from a mere 19 percent in the corresponding quarter the previous year.
Local companies started facing heat as their share slipped to 43 percent in Q4 from 64 percent a year ago, though still leading the smartphone segment.
High specification product line-up, aggressive pricing and heavy marketing spend helped China-based companies to get a quick share in the Bangladesh market.
“As the operators in Bangladesh started launching 4G services in the country, we expect 4G smartphones to overtake the 3G smartphones by the end of 2018,” said Jaipal Singh , Senior Market Analyst of IDC India.
“2018 will be a crucial year for many local companies. China-based companies will continue to spend on marketing and channel expansion. Along with this, some more entrants are expected to make their entry in the country which will further intensify the competitive landscape,” he added,