Rub your hands all those of you with apartments in Gulshan…here is another giant moving into Bangladesh and driving up your property prices. Forbes reports that Vodafone is “looking at a number of options including the acquisition of any of the six mobile phone companies now operating in the country…We are excited by the growth possibilities in Bangladesh.” Oh yes….so are a lot of property owning NRBs!

Great I say if it helps reduces call charges. I don’t know what the situation is now, but even as recently as 2004 Bangladesh had the highest ( ie most expensive) call rates anywhere in South Asia and there were consumer protests about this including a demonstration if i remember rightly. The impact of liberalisation was overwhelmingly adverse for the consumer. The sequential release of licenses helped the first guys to make super profits and monopolise the entire sector. However things are changing. The regulator (BTRC) has recently been praised for price capping and other measures but derided (by Joe Bloggs at least) for proscribing VoIP.

Someone now needs to tell Steve Jobs that as the market for BMWs is now limited in the country ( chuckle, chuckle) “in the face of the government’s anti-corruption drive” - not a single damn sale last year - there must be a lot of cash floating about. And the iPhone is nowhere near as conspicuous as the 5 series. Potential owners can even hide it in their lungis?

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