The world’s most popular and useful communication medium is the mobile phone. According to statistics collected on February of 2013, mobile phones are the most used communication medium in the world. At this time, there are nearly 6.835 billion mobile sim subscribers around the world. According to statistic of April, Bangladesh is 12th in the world in terms of most sim subscribers. In Bangladesh, there are currently 101.205 million mobile subscribers. The mobile penetration in the country is currently 66.36%, which is increasing by 10% every year. Needless to say, as in the rest of the world, the mobile phone is a prime medium for information and entertainment in Bangladesh.
The use of applications in mobile phones has also become very popular worldwide. According to 2012 statistics, 1.2 billion people around the world are using mobile applications and this number is increasing at a rate 29.8% per year. Using this projection, the number of mobile application users will be more than 4.4 billion by 2017. The majority of these users will be situated in Asia. At this moment, 17% of all mobile users also use mobile applications. As this number increases worldwide, it also affects Bangladesh. The biggest reason for that is the popularity of mobile phone internet. The number of mobile phone internet users in Bangladesh is currently over 30 million.
A new international market has grown up around the use of mobile applications; it is a brand new source of revenue. New technologies are invented almost every day in the mobile world, creating great new opportunities for employment. From education, health and news to games, entertainment and social media, projects of all types are now oriented around mobile applications. Mobile apps have provided new avenues of banking and financial services.
Usually mobile applications are available for download from various marketplaces like Nokia Store, Google Play, Windows Marketplace, Blackberry World, Samsung Store, iPhone App Store, etc. Some apps are integrated in the sets at the moment of purchase, while smartphone users can download them from these stores. Statistically, by the end of this year, the number of downloads for mobile applications, made by various mobile software companies, software engineers and individual developers will reach nearly 81.4 billion. Last year this number was 45.6 billion (Gartner Sep. 2012) and by 2016, it will be 309.6 billion. This year software developers and app marketplaces have earned 8.1 billion dollars from direct downloads of mobile applications; by 2016, they will have earned 21.7 billion dollars. To enable Bangladesh to enter this multibillion dollar marketplace and to developed the necessary skills to compete in that marketplace is the core goal of this project.
The IT and Communications Ministry of the Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh has undertaken the ‘National Mobile Application Development Awareness & Capacity Building Program’ with the goal of helping the youth of Bangladesh connect to the international mobile applications market. The project will especially emphasize providing necessary training for independent mobile application development to freelancers in universities and at the grassroots level. As well as that, effort will be undertaken to raise awareness of mobile app potential among the public and among policy makers. The successful completion of this project will be an active boon to the established goal of 2021: Digital Bangladesh mission. The project will help create world-class ICT professionals through employment in local and international markets. Not only will this allow us to meet the demands of the local and international markets, increase revenue from international trade, attract foreign investment and reduce dependence on imported software, it will let us create a burgeoning software industry and allow the provision of ICT-based services along with the decentralization of ICT development endeavours by moving such efforts outside the capital.