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The latest bans come with the IOC set to rule on whether R
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MessaggioInviato: Ven Apr 12, 2019 9:55 am    Oggetto:  The latest bans come with the IOC set to rule on whether R
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by Naim-Ul-Karim

, Feb. 3 (Xinhua) -- The total number of Bangladesh's mobile phone subscribers reached nearly 114 million at the end of December 2013 with addition of 16.604 million new users in the immediate past year, statistics of the country's telecom regulator showed Monday.

With 1.042 million new addition in December last year, according to Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission ( BTRC) data, the number of subscribers in the country reached 113. 784 million.

The total number of Mobile Phone subscribers has reached 112. 742 million at the end of November 2013.

The number of subscribers of the mobile operators -- Grameenphone, Banglalink, Axiata (Aktel), Citycell
, Teletalk and Warid -- at the end of 2013 stood at 47.110 million, 28.838 million, 25.380 million, 8.269 million, 1.365 million and 2.822 million respectively, the BTRC data showed.

Sector insiders say reduction in sim tax, value-added tax (VAT) applied on 3G spectrum prices
, introduction of third generation mobile broadband and availability of low cost handset have virtually played a vital role to the booming growth in subscription last year.

Bangladesh's tax administrator in May last year halved SIM tax and value-added tax (VAT) applied on 3G spectrum prices, helping the operators to find more new subscribers by expanding network in more new areas, they said.

The country's National Board of Revenue (NBR) reportedly reduced the SIM tax to 300 taka (about 3.85 U.S. dollars) from 600 taka (about 7.69 U.S. dollars) and VAT on the 3G mobile service license and spectrum fees to 7.5 percent from 15 percent.

Bangladesh's mobile operators have long been urging the government to waive SIM tax to help their efforts to bolster mobile penetration. Because, the operators in Bangladesh still sell SIM cards at subsidized rate to woo more customers from less affluent section of the society.

Sector insiders say handset price, like other developing markets, also played a vital role for mobile operators to increase their subscriber base.

In this connection, it would not be exaggeration to say that China-made handsets helped Bangladesh to continuously witness boom in mobile penetration
, they said.

"Chinese handsets are contributing a lot to the growth of Bangladesh telecom market," Faisal Alim, general secretary of the Mobile Handset Importers Association of Bangladesh, told Xinhua.

Sector insiders say China-made mobile phones-- Symphony, Maximus, Micromax, Sfone
, King mobile, Smart and Strawberry, Sprint, Digital, I- Max, etc -- have now earned a good name in Bangladesh market, accounting for about 90 percent of monthly sales volume.

Even if Chinese handsets are relatively cheaper but they are of high quality and durable
, they added.

"Availability of low cost handset definitely has played an important role to increase the sub- base which otherwise would have not been possible," Md Munir Hasan, Grameenphone's director for strategy and planning, had earlier told Xinhua.

He said that competition from vendors actually forced the reputed brands to introduce low-cost handsets.

"So both the cheap handsets and the low-cost branded handsets have played significant role in increasing the mobile penetration in the country," Hasan said.

Bangladesh currently imports about 18 to 20 million handsets every year.

Over 10 percent of these sets are 3G-enabled.

As Bangladesh entered the 3G or third generation mobile broadband in September, industry leaders expect sales of about 300, 000 3G- enabled mobile handsets every month in which China manufacturers have a good market share.

Bangladesh's cell phone companies sold nearly 12 million new connections in 2012
, raising the country's total subscribers to 97. 18 million by the end of December.

Romanova (second left) and Vilukhina (far right) won silver in the biathlon relay at Sochi 2014

Five more Russian athletes have been banned from the Olympics for life as a result of the International Olympic Committee's investigations into the country's doping scandal.

Sergei Chudinov, Aleksei Negodailo, Dmitry Trunenkov, Yana Romanova and Olga Vilukhina have all been punished.

The IOC announced the first Russian bans, based on the findings of the 2016 McLaren report, on 1 November.

On Monday, it published a full decision on one of the bans for the first time.

In it
, the IOC's disciplinary commission described the "puzzle" of investigating something that was "by nature and purpose elusive".

The McLaren report said Russian athletes benefited from a state-sponsored doping programme between 2011 and 2015, speaking of "a cover-up that evolved from uncontrolled chaos to an institutionalised and disciplined medal-winning conspiracy".

In explaining its decision to punish Alexander Legkov, one of two Russian skiers banned on 1 November, the IOC said the athlete had "sought to argue that no evidence could be drawn from the McLaren report" but it had "come to a different conclusion".

It said the authority of the report's author, Professor Richard McLaren, was "unquestionable" and it "can and will rely" on its findings.

Negodailo and Trunenkov were members of Russia's four-man bobsleigh team that won gold at Sochi 2014.

Romanova and Vilukhina won silver in the biathlon relay, while Vilukhina won silver in the 7.5km event.

Nineteen Russian athletes have now been suspended from the Olympics for life since 1 November.

The latest bans come with the IOC set to rule on whether Russia will be allowed to compete at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang
, South Korea, which begin on 9 February.

The IOC will announce its decision at its next meeting, scheduled to begin on 5 December.

Russian Sochi Olympians banned

Gold medallists

Alexander Legkov, 50km cross country

Aleksei Negodailo, four-man bobsleigh

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