Nearly 0.7 million mobile phone subscribers have switched operators without changing their original 11-digit phone numbers through the mobile number portability (MNP) service in the last one year.
The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) revealed the figure -- 6,90,550 to be precise -- in a report on Monday, marking one year since the launch of the MNP service.
Also, 2,56,733 more subscribers attempted to change their network but failed due to various reasons, said the report.
Robi, the country's second largest mobile operator, became the biggest beneficiary of the new system, as it could attract 4,96,000 users or 84 per cent of the total subscribers who switched operators, according to the report.
In contrast, some 1,69,000 customers left Robi's network during the same period.
Grameenphone, the largest mobile phone operator, came second on the success list. It got 1,26,000 new customers but lost 2,74,000 subscribers.
Banglalink, the third player of the market, welcomed 68,528 customers from other networks while 2,89,000 users pulled out of its network.
The state-owned Teletalk managed to woo 4,427 customers from other networks but lost 8,101 users.
Commenting on the report, Shahed Alam, Chief Corporate and Regulatory Officer, Robi Axiata Ltd., said the BTRC report clearly shows that Robi has emerged as the most preferred digital brand of the country.
He also urged the regulator and the MNP service provider to make the process of switching network operator a seamless exercise.
When the MNP service took off, the National Board of Revenue withdrew the SIM tax of Tk 115 for switching operators, but the SIM replacement tax has been introduced in the current budget again, resulting in a decline in the number of users switching operators.
Presently, users have to pay Tk 57 in MNP service charge and Tk 200 in SIM replacement tax.
The number of total subscribers in the country has reached 162.58 million at the end of August this year, according to the BTRC data.
Of them, 75.616 million users are subscribers of Grameenphone, 47.760 million of Robi Axiata, 34.817 million of Banglalink and 4.387 million of Teletalk, the data show.