Robi Axiata and Grameenphone launch 3G service in Bangladesh

Robi Axiata and Grameenphone has launched 3G service in Bangladesh.

The 3G service of both the operators was launched by Post and Telecommunications minister advocate Shahara Khatun in the presence of dignitaries from the government in their respective headquarters. It is expected that all the remaining operators like Airtel and Banglalink will also launch 3G services by October.

With the launch of 3G services, consumers now have the option to chose the right package and right services as per their liking and operators need to focus on offering 3G services at reasonable rate to get maximum subscribers.

Robi Axiata has launched its 3G services in Dhaka and Chittagong and later it will be extended to other districts in FY 2013-14. The company is currently awaiting tariff approvals from the regulatory authorities before it commences commercial launch in October.

The company is planning to cover 40 percent of its customer base and 60 percent of its data users by the end of 2013 and plans are to cover 60 percent of customer base within the first quarter of 2014. Robi is currently waiting for 3G tariff approvals from the regulatory authorities after which the company will commence its commercial launch of service.

Initially, Grameenphone, Bangladesh’s largest mobile operator will start 3G services in Dhaka and Chittagong within October and it is expected that all 68 districts will receive 3G services within this year or at the start of the next year.

Customers can get 3G service from their existing SIM and if needed they can get a new SIM in exchange of old SIM without any extra cost.

Grameen Phone, Robi Axiata and Banglalink Digital Communications and Airtel Bangaldesh has recently won 3G spectrum in Bangladesh.

Grameenphone has bagged 10 MHz spectrum whereas Robi Axiata, Banglalink and Airtel Bangladesh has bagged 5 MHz spectrum each. Grameen Phone paid $210 million and all others paid $105 million each. Bangladesh Telecom Regulatory Commission (BTRC) collected a total of $525 million from the recently concluded 3G auction.

In 2.1 GHz band, Grameen Phone bagged 1935-1945/2125-2135 band, Robi Axiata got 1950-1955/2140-2145 and Banglalink Digital Communications received 1955-1960/2145-2150. Airtel Bangladesh has bagged 5 MHz spectrum in 1945-1950/2135-2140 MHz band. Grameenphone was assigned two blocks of 5 MHz whereas others were offered one block of 5MHz each. The spectrum fee per MHz at the recently concluded auction was $21 million.

As per 3G license, BTRC has conveyed that 3G cellular mobile phone service operator shall be eligible to provide 4G LTE service using the same spectrum block for 3G services.

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