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16 February, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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Country awaits dawn of 4G era on Feb 19

Staff Reporter
Country awaits dawn of 4G era on Feb 19

The posts and telecommunication ministry has approved the Bangladesh Teleco-mmunication Regulatory Commission's (BTRC's) recommendations to provide licences to four operators for the fourth-generation (4G) mobile service.

The regulator received the certified copy of the approval on Wednesday and asked the mobile phone operators to deposit Tk 10 crore as licence fee by Monday.  

The telecom regulator will hand over licences to four mobile phone operators—Grameenphone, Robi, Banglalink and Teletalk—on February 19. They will offer the service after receiving the licence. Grameenphone will launch the service soon after getting the licence, while Robi will offer the service from February 19. Banglalink, too, is now ready to launch the service, according to the public relation department of the telecom operator.  

The state-run mobile phone operator, Teletalk, is also ready to launch the 4G service.  

To get the benefits of 4G, a subscriber will need a 4G-enabled handset along with a 4G SIM and should be under the 4G network coverage, said Robi Axiata Limited CEO Mahtab Uddin Ahmed.

Grameenphone will offer the 4G service in Dhaka and some main cities in the country soon after receiving the licence.

TIM Nurul Kabir, secretary general of the Association of Mobile Telecom Operators of Bangladesh (AMTOB), said the launch of the 4G service will benefit people working in the e-Commerce, outsourcing and other Internet-based sectors. The uploading and downloading speed in 4G will be more than double than that in the 3G service, he added.

He also said the average internet speed will be 7Mbps or even more under the 4G service, a marked improvement from the current 3.75 Mbps available in 3G.

However, subscribers will have to wait for some time to get the full benefits of the service, Nurul Kabir said.  

BTRC chairman Shahjahan Mahmood said the operators are allowed to offer the 4G service in any band as they get tech neutrality. "Tech neutrality amplifies the functioning capability of waves. It'll also help improve voice call speed," he added.     

However, the main barrier to enjoying the 4G service will be the unavailability of 4G-enabled handsets. Around 30 per cent of the country's population carry smartphones, but only 10 per cent of them have 4G-enabled handsets, according to industry insiders.    

Grameenphone and Banglalink acquired new spectrum at Tuesday’s auction and got the tech neutrality provision, which had hitherto been enjoyed by Robi. So, the regulator and the ministry concerned have decided to not give any elbowroom to the telecom operators with respect to quality of service.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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