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Robi dominates 4G market

Robi dominates 4G market

Staff Repoter :: The largest 4G network operator with advanced 4.5G technology, Robi became the first mobile phone operator in the country to reach 1 million 4G subscribers milestone within the first quarter of the year; by that time, Robi had expanded its 4.5G network to 425thanas with more than 4,000 sites. As of now, 457 thanas are covered by more than 5,200 4.5G sites.

This phenomenal network expansion took place following the launch of the service on 20 February 2018. On that very day, the service was launched in all the 64 districts of the country, making it the largest ever roll-out of a new technology in the country.

  • • Active subscribers base grew 6.3% QoQ to reach 45.6 million, out of which, 25.3 million are internet users
    • Total Revenue BDT 16.3 billion; YoY 5.9%growth (Service revenue growth YoY 13.1%)
    • EBITDA BDT 3.5 billion withmargin 21.5%; YoYgrowth 48.4%
    • BDT9.9 billion capex investmentfor 4G license, tech-neutrality conversion fee and capacity enhancement
    • Incurs BDT 1.03billion lossdue to extensive investment in network, increased market interest rate, high taxation regime and the landscape of market competition
    • BDT6.8 billion contributed to Government Exchequer


YoY PERFORMANCE (Q1’18 vs Q1’17)

In Q1’18, Robi added another 2.7 million new subscribers to reach 45.6 million, representing 30.4% subscriber market share.During the period, the company witnessed encouraging growth in both voice (YoY+5.2%) and data revenue (YoY+42.0%). Continuous investment in nationwide network expansion, capacity enhancement and 4G readiness along with the debilitating impact of high taxation regime coupled with the landscape of market competition have resulted in Robi incurring loss in this quarter.

QoQ PERFORMANCE (Q1’18 vs Q4’17)

QoQ EBITDA margin improved by 1.5pp to BDT 3.5 billion despite higher investment for 4.5G related network costs and promotional activities. Robi’s profitability (PAT) was negative in Q1’18 impacted by additional 4.5G costs coupled with increased borrowing rate in the market.Besides, the prevailing high taxation regime and landscape of market competition saw Robi incurring loss for three consecutive quarters (Q3 2017, Q 4 2017 and Q1 2018).


Robi continued investing aggressively to fast-track its 4.5Gnetwork expansion and improving its 3.5G/2.5G network qualityto ensure better customer experience both in voice and data services. Total CAPEX investment made by Robi since inception amounted to BDT 216.6 billion inclusive of BDT 9.9 billion CAPEX investment in the first quarter of 2018. The company has network coverage in all 64 districts in Bangladesh with 10,700 sites of which over 9,300 are 3.5G sites and more than 5,200 are 4.5G sites.


Robi Managing Director and CEO, Mahtab Uddin Ahmed said, “Robi has become the first mobile phone operator in the country to reach 1 million subscribers milestoneby the end of first quarter of this year. As of now, we are very near to achieving the 2 million 4.5G subscriber milestone. Robi had expanded its 4.5G network to 425 thanas with more than 4,000 sites by end of March. As of now, 457 thanas are covered by more than 5,200 4.5G sites.

Addressing the lack of 4G enabled handsets in the market our e-commerce outlet,, has therefore brought a large number of exciting 4G enabled smartphone offers for the customers.

During the first quarter of 2018, we continued to bring most innovative and affordableproductoffers in the market.Robi introduced Safenet – a unique service that allows parents to protect their kids from harmful content on the internet through filtering. Robi also introduced the first ever family hospital cashback offer named “MyHealth” which allows the users to include up to two family members besides themselves to enjoy the medical coverage.

Robi’s digital transformation journey was bolstered in this quarter with the unveiling of Robi-servicebots, intelligent humanoids or service robots powered by a robust cloud-based artificial intelligence platform. As the country adapts to the 4th industrial revolution, these humanoid service-bots are going to be crucial in ensuring readiness for the ensuing changes across the industry.

Besides, our utility bill payment portfolio was further strengthened with the signing of agreement with Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB), Dhaka Power Distribution Company Limited (DPDC) and Jalalabad Gas Transmission and Distribution System Limited (JGTDSL). On the other hand, we have inaugurated high-speed WiFi internet service for five residential halls of Dhaka University.

While, these speak volume of our customer-centric marketing initiatives, the prevailing competitive landscape in the sector impedes our company’s progress, as we have yet again incurred loss in this quarter despite aggressive growth, this is very discouraging.”

BDPressRelease/SHS/23 May 2018