Chhimi Dema

In the last 10 years, internet lease line subscribers in the country increased by 54 percent.

According to the annual info-comm and transport statistical bulletin 2021, subscriber increased by 65.3 percent last year. There were 3,751 subscribers last year of which 1,482 were new subscribers.

TashiCell’s general manager, Namgyal Wangchuk, said that subscribers increased last year because of the decrease in price coupled with the need for unlimited internet at home.

He said that the lease line is a speed-based internet service without limit for data volume. “The user subscribes to a certain speed depending on their requirement and monthly charges are fixed without having to worry about data volume.”

However, the overall internet subscriptions decreased by 10 percent in 2020 compared to the previous year.

The annual bulletin states that the decrease is attributed to a large number of foreign workers leaving the country due to the pandemic, a large number of passive mobile cellular users, and also due to the rapid decrease in fixed-broadband subscriptions.

Mobile broadband (3G and 4G) subscriptions decreased by 9.6 percent last year. There were 460,324 4G subscribers and 228,611 3G subscribers last year.

The bulletin also attributes the decrease in mobile broadband subscriptions to foreign workers subscribing leaving the country due to the pandemic.

The fixed broadband subscribers decreased drastically in the last six years with an average decrease of 41.4 percent.

According to the bulletin, the decrease in the fixed broadband subscribers could be attributed to the increase in lease line subscriptions and the increase in mobile broadband coverage and subscriptions.

An agency to coordinate telecommunication operations and services, International Telecommunication Union, stated that about 51 percent of the global population or 4 billion people were using the internet by the end of 2019.