MB Subba

Mobile cellular subscriptions jumped by 24,558 in the second quarter of 2020, according to statistics published this week by the Ministry of Information and Communications.

The first quarter had marked an increase of 6,763 mobile cellular subscriptions.

The country detected its first Covid-19 case towards the end of the first quarter on March 6. Schools resorted to online classes after the government closed all schools across the country on March 18.

The number of 4G internet users also increased significantly by 73,501, from 368,541 in March to 442,042 in June.

In contrast, the number of 3G subscribers decreased from 288,381 in March to 235,440 in June.

The total number of mobile cellular subscribers reached 760,560 in June from 736,002 in March, which is an increase of more than 3.3 percent.

The figures, however, include 49,525 and 53,925 passive subscribers for Bhutan Telecom and TashiCell respectively. Passive users are those that are still registered with the operators but not in use for three months.

Total numbers of mobile subscriptions were 465,085 for Bhutan Telecom and 295,475 for TashiCell.

The statistics also reveal that the total number of international air passengers arriving at Paro International airport decreased from 46,989 in the first quarter to 183 in the first two months of the second quarter, which means that figures for the second quarter do not include that of June.

The two airlines operated only 32 international flights in April and May. A total of 1,277 international flights were operated from January to March.

Regular international flights and tourism were banned beginning from March 6.

The Covid-19 also affected domestic flights. The number of domestic air passengers decreased from 3,532 in the first quarter to a mere 426 in the first two months of the second quarter.