According to The Daily Star in Bangladesh, DoCoMo has submitted a bid to buy the 30% of AKTEL, a stake previously valued at over $300million. Telecom Malaysia currently controls 70% of AKTEL which recently slipped to third position in the six-operator market with approx. 7.5 million customers as of March 31st.
NTT DoCoMo’s move heightens speculation over the future of the country’s third largest mobile operator that was recently overtaken by rival Banglalink in terms of subscriber numbers.
In January another of the world’s major mobile operators, the UK’s Vodafone publicly expressed an interest to buy the AKTEL stake, while Middle East based operator Etisalat has also shown some interest.
However industry sources said Vodafone was concerned about how it would manage the relationship with Telekom Malaysia, the group that owns the remaining 70 percent of AKTEL.
Grameenphone is the leader with about 18 million subscribers, while Orascom Telecom Bangladesh, which operates Banglalink, is second with 8 million out of a total market estimated at 39 million.