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20 February, 2018 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 20 February, 2018 01:10:20 AM
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Country steps into 4G era

Staff Reporter
Country steps into 4G era

A new chapter of ‘Digital Bangladesh’ was unveiled yesterday through the introduction of fourth-generation (4G) mobile Internet in the country. Mobile phone operators started offering the fasted internet service immediately after receiving the 4G/LTE licence from the telecom regulator at a ceremony yesterday evening. Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology Minister Mustafa Jabbar handed over the licenses to state-owned Teletalk and private operators Grameenphone, Robi and Banglalink at a programme held at Dhaka Club in the capital.

Soon after getting the licence, market leader Grameenphone’s Chief Executive Officer Michael Foley announced the launch of 4G service through Facebook Live in a total of 80 sites in selected areas of Dhaka city and Chittagong, marking the beginning of its nationwide rollout of 4G services.

“Indeed this is a proud moment for us all in Bangladesh and a big milestone to the realization of Digital Bangladesh,” said Foley after the launch.

Other private operators –Robi, and Banglalink – also started offering the 4G mobile broadband to their customers in the capital and some other major cities immediately. Robi began offering the service at 179 sites while Banglalink in 200 sites. However, Teletalk may take a little more time to launch the 4G service for its customers.

Managing director and CEO of Robi, Mahtab Uddin Ahmed,

said they have covered 179 sites in different cities with the fasted internet service.  “4G will be available in shortest possible time,” he added.  Robi also announced that 4G service will be available in all the district headquarters from today.

“This is a great day for us as we step into a new era of digital connectivity,” said Erik Aas, CEO of Banglalink, after the launch of the service. The third largest operator announced the launch of 4G service in Dhaka, Chittagong, Khulna, and Sylhet.

After launching of the 4G service, Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) Chairman Dr Shahjahan Mahmood said they will enact a directive on quality of service guideline where minimum speed for this service will be declared as 7 Mbps and the regulator will go tough on ensuring 4G quality.

For enjoying this service, customers’ mobile phones or gadgets need to be 4G enabled, and they also need to replace their SIMs with a 4G enabled ones. However, iPhone users may have to wait for a while to enjoy the service, as Apple is yet to make ‘carrier setting update’ for their devices for Bangladesh. Earlier, before launching the service, BTRC had put up 46.4MHz of spectrum for sale in the auction where Grameenphone and Banglalink purchased a total of 15.6 MHz. On the other hand, Robi and Teletalk decided to launch this fastest data service using their existing spectrums.

Banglalink bought 10.6 MHz spectrum – 5 MHz in 2100 band and 5.6 MHz in 1800 band while market leader Grameenphone took 5 MHz from the 1800 band. After the auction, market leader Grameenphone has total 37 MHz, while Banglalink owns 30.6 MHz.

Robi, which merged with Airtel, now has a total of 36.4 MHz spectrum in three different bands. Teletalk has a total of 25.2 MHz.

Members of the Parliamentary Standing Committee Moazzem Hossain Ratan, MP and Begum Hosneara Lutfa Dalia, MP , Post and Telecommunications Secretary Shyam Sundar Sikder and other officials and guests were present at the programme.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina expressed her joy as Bangladesh entered the 4G (fourth generation) technology yesterday.

"With the handing over 4G/LTE licenses to the mobile phone operators, Bangladesh touched another milestone in the information technology," an elated prime minister told a crowded press conference at Ganabhaban yesterday.

On the historic occasion, the prime minister extended her sincere greetings to all concerned of the Ministry of Post, Telecommunications and Information and Communication Technology for completing this work smoothly.

 

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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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