Bangladeshi workers living in the Persian Gulf and the South-East Asian countries blow up some 10 per cent of their income in mobile and internet telephony, an international survey said Sunday.
The study released in Dhaka by a global ICT think tank found that Bangladeshi migrant workers are the biggest telecom spenders among the top six manpower exporting countries in Asia.
"On an average Bangladeshi overseas workers spend US$48 a month to keep in touch with their family, friends and relatives," Rohan Smarajiva, the chief executive of LIRNEasia, said.
"Around 87 per cent Bangladeshi overseas migrant call home once a week and 34 per cent daily. Calling home is very is important to them," he said, unveiling the survey titled Teleuse@BOP3
, or Tele-use at the bottom of the pyramid-three.
He said expatriate Bangladeshis called home more frequently than their counterparts from the Philippines, Asia's top manpower exporting nation, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka and Thailand.
The study --- first of its kind on Bangladeshi workers --- was conducted on 1500 migrant workers each from the six countries during 2008-2009.
They included 108 workers who recently returned from overseas and 170 domestic migrants.
The CEO said the survey findings shed significant focus on the Bangladeshi migrants who are on the bottom of working pyramid among the expatriate working community and they are also least savvy in ICT.
"It means the Bangladeshi workers are in the lowest socioeconomic group," he said and added that the findings would help policy makers identify future telecom market of the country.
On average, the survey found that Bangladeshi overseas migrant workers earned approximately $485 and sent $203 home per month.
Among the Bangladeshi overseas migrant workers, the most popular way of communicating home was by telephone, although unlike other nationalities, 28 per cent also made calls through Internet.
The study showed that Bangladeshi domestic migrants appeared to be making the most of mobiles to send money home. Hand-carrying of cash was the most popular way of remitting money among the domestic migrants.
A small number of domestic migrants surveyed in Bangladesh were found to be sending money home through mobiles, despite there is a lack of a mobile payment system in the country.
It appears that many are making use of systems like the 'flexi-load' system to transfer money home, the survey revealed.
On an average Bangladeshi domestic migrant workers surveyed earned USD$ 84 a month and sent home USD$ 27.