Bhutan’s mobile cellular subscribers decreased in 2018 from the previous year.
The number of mobile cellular subscribers fell to 715,626 in June 2018 from 730,623 in 2017, according to the information and communications ministry’s statistics. This is a decline by 2 percent in six months.
The ministry releases the statistics to disseminate up-to-date and correct information and statistical data on ICT, media, transport and postal services in the country.
Ten years ago, in 2007, the number of mobile cellular subscribers was 148,179.
The total number of internet subscribers increased to 757,129 in June 2018 from 726,138 in the previous year. About 10 years ago, the number of internet subscribers was just 4,040.
Broadband internet services were first introduced in the country in 2008.
Today, there are eight licensed internet service providers in the country. They are Bhutan Telecom, Drukcom, Tashi Info-Comm. Ltd, Supernet InfoComm, Bitcom Systems, Datanet Wifi, Nano and Drangdhen Tshonglay.
Mobile broadband connections are generally classified as those connections having 3G or 4G connections. According to the statistics, there were 609,040 3G subscribers, which is the highest among various types of internet connections as of June this year. There were 130,098 4G connections in Bhutan.
According to the statistics, the number of wired (fixed line) internet subscriptions has been decreasing and the ministry of information and communications attributes this to increase in mobile broadband coverage and subscriptions.
Today, Thimphu has a total of 10,481 fixed phone lines, which is the highest among the 20 dzongkhags. Gasa has the lowest number of fixed phone lines at 72.
The data in this report were collected and compiled by the Policy and Planning Division of the Ministry of Information and Communications. The ministry states that it will continue its endeavour to improve and include missing information in subsequent publications.