ICT: At the end of last year, the number of B-Mobile and Tashi Cell subscriptions reached 675,747, an increase of 7.55 percent from the previous year.

Both B-Mobile and Tashi-Cell mobile services are now available in all 20 dzongkhags.

According to the annual statistics for 2016 of the information and communications ministry, of the total mobile cellular subscribers, B-Mobile had a total of 486,228 subscribers last year. This is slightly over 71 percent of the market share.

Tashi-Cell had 189,519 subscribers, which is 28 percent of the market share.

Consequently, Bhutan Telecom’s market share last year decreased by 0.39 percent.

Mobile broadband connections last year increased by 91 percent over the total number of subscribers in 2014. Mobile broadband connections are those connections having 3G or 4G connections.

Mobile broadband subscriptions by the end of 2015 reached 412,269. This means that there were 53 3G or 4G connections for every 100 people by the end of last year.

Broadband connections are generally classified into two: fixed (wired) broadband and mobile broadband. Broadband internet services were first introduced in the country in 2008.

Druknet (Bhutan Telecom) and Drukcom are the two ISPs providing fixed (wired) broadband internet services in the country.

In 2015, fixed broadband internet subscriptions reached 27,671, an increase of 10.78 percent or 2,692 subscribers more than 2014.

There are 3.6 fixed broadband subscribers per 100 inhabitants in the country.

Bhutan Telecom Ltd is the sole provider of fixed-line telecommunication services, while cellular mobile services are provided by Bhutan Telecom Ltd and Tashi Info-Comm. Ltd.

Meanwhile, fixed-line telephone subscription is declining globally and the trend is same in Bhutan.

Fixed-line subscriptions peaked in 2005 with 32,709 subscribers, and since then the number of subscribers kept declining with the number reaching 21,811 last year. Fixed-telephone line subscriptions per 100 inhabitants stood at 2.81 percent by the end of last year.

MB Subba