Standard

Bangladesh’s Grameenphone to invest in 3G

Vivek SoodThe head of Bangladesh’s largest mobile phone company said Tuesday it is ready to invest millions of dollars to prepare for 3G operations after gaining spectrum in the country’s first open 3G auction.

On Sunday, Grameenphone Ltd. won 10 megahertz of spectrum with a bid of $21 million for each megahertz.

Three other private companies — Banglalink, the local subsidiary of Egypt’s Orascom Telecom; Robi, a joint venture between Malaysia’s Axiata Group and Japan’s NTT DoCoMo; and Airtel, majority-owned by India’s Bharti Airtel — also won bids for 5 megahertz of spectrum each at a price of $105 million.

State-owned Teletalk, which began 3G operations on an experimental basis last year, will also pay $210 million for 10 megahertz of spectrum.

Grameenphone, a subsidiary of Norwegian telecom giant Telenor ASA, has 44 million subscribers and a 42 percent market share. Telenor owns 55.8 percent of Grameenphone, with Grameen Telecom owning 34.2 percent.

Since 1997, when Grameenphone started its operations in Bangladesh, it has invested more than $2.5 billion.

Vivek Sood, Grameenphone’s chief executive officer, said in an interview that it was an “exciting moment” to offer third-generation mobile telecom service in Bangladesh, which has a population of 160 million.

The company is eyeing Bangladesh’s largely untapped Internet market because 3G can offer relatively high-speed Internet data transfer. Although the country has almost 107 million cellphone users, the number of Internet users is around 30 million, according to the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission. But telecom operators say the real figure is much smaller.

“I am pleased with the outcome of the auction,” he said. “Now it’s the time to start our journey. Definitely we are on the competitive edge.”

Last month, the International Finance Corp., the private sector arm of the World Bank, helped raise a $345 million loan for Grameenphone through a consortium to increase its network capacity and build more infrastructure in rural Bangladesh.

“We have a vision of Internet for all, we are moving forward with a massive plan,” he said. “There are options for providing e-education, mobile health services through use of 3G.”

“This is the way we are looking at our plans for 3G.”
- See more at: http://bostonherald.com/business/business_markets/2013/09/bangladeshs_grameenphone_to_invest_in_3g#sthash.LLur7dIn.dpuf

More from Standard

Bangladesh Budget in Brief 2013-14

  Budget speech_en 2013-14 Budget at a Glance Graph – I Non-Development and Development Budget : 2013-14 Resources Coming From Statement – I Broad Details of Revenue Receipts Statement – II Non-Development and Development Expenditure Graph – II Non-Development & Development Budget … read more

The first ever of Local Industry Exports Solar Panel to Malaysia

Bangladesh has entered in the era of exporting solar panel as against huge quantity of import of the product from China in the recent years. Customs export sources said that Greenfinity Energy Ltd, a local private manufacturer, has exported the … read more

BANGLADESH: Warn government to stop waging war against its own people

The Honorable Hillary Clinton Re: BANGLADESH: Warn government to stop waging war against its own people Dear Secretary Clinton: I am William Nicholas Gomes, Human Rights Ambassador for Salem News.com. I am writing to you concerning your upcoming trip to … read more

HRW demands probe into Bangladesh abductions

New York-based Human Rights Watch Friday urged Bangladesh to order an “independent and impartial investigation” into the recent disappearances of opposition and political activists. Bangladesh Disappearances: Alarming Number Of Activists, The global rights group made the demand after Iias Ali, … read more

Ameerah Haq Bangladeshi get top UN post under secretary general

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has appointed veteran Japanese diplomat Yukio Takasu as the new U.N. management chief and senior U.N. official Ameerah Haq of Bangladesh to head the department in charge of management and logistics for the world body’s far-flung peacekeeping … read more

UN envoy commends disaster preparedness initiatives in Bangladesh

The UN envoy responsible for disaster risk reduction today commended Bangladesh for issuing a policy directive requiring that risk assessment be integrated into all development projects, as the country expands its cyclone preparedness to include earthquake readiness. “I am heartened … read more

In Its Fifth Year, GOTS Certifies 80 Additional Facilities

The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) turned five years old in 2011, adding 80 new companies and another country (Kyrgyzstan) to the list of those with GOTS-certified facilities, expanding particularly in developed countries, accrediting a 14th certification organization, and receiving … read more

Promise of a smarter life- by SAMSUNG

Samsung Electronics Co Ltd introduced its 2012 product catalogue at South West Asia Regional Forum, held in Bangkok on March 18. The regional forum offered South West Asian consumers and media of Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka and Nepal a first … read more

Panasonic launches new gadgets :Panasonic stakes on Dhaka’s ‘digital’ drive

Japanese electronics giant Panasonic launched its latest IP-PBX telephone and high definition video conference systems for the Bangladesh market . “We came up with the latest IP-PBX telephone and HD video conference systems to improve the productivity of business organisations,” … read more

ASIF HASSAN – A Bangladeshi Student from Australia

ASIF HASSAN, 20, said it would take a lot to keep him in Australia after he finishes his civil and structural engineering degree at the University of Technology, Sydney. While he likes the lifestyle in Sydney, he does not believe … read more

Indian Writers Dominate DSC Literature Prize 2012 Longlist

Literature today announced the 16-title longlist for the 2012 prize. The longlist for the prestigious $50,000 prize, which selects the finest writing from or focusing on South Asia, includes both established and debut writers, as well as three translated works. … read more