POST TIME: 23 February, 2018 00:00 00 AM
Problems with 4G network coverage
Issues will be ironed out soon: BTRC chief
Tareque Moretaza

Issues will be ironed out soon: BTRC chief

In the beginning, there may be a few problems with 4G network coverage, but the internet users, who have always complained about slow internet speed in the country, will soon get fast 4G services, Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) chairman Dr Shahjahan Mahmood said.

“We will improve the service over time. In the beginning, there may be a few problems with 4G network coverage, but these issues will be ironed out,” Mahmood told The Independent.

Not only urban people, the rural population will also enjoy the service. This will ultimately improve their lifestyle. Besides, Bangladesh will be able to follow the continually changing world of Information and Communications Technology (ICT), said the state minister for ICT, Zunaid Ahmed Palak.

“Many success stories have emerged from among the youth of our country. We have many contents, such as ride-sharing apps and accommodation-sharing apps (e.g. Airbnb),” he added.

The number of internet users in the country is now more than eight crore. The number was merely 20 lakh in 2009.

When 3G service began in 2013, mobile internet consumers would use on an average only 90 MB data per month. Now, that number has risen to 650 MB. In the last five years, data usage by mobile phone users has increased more than sevenfold. When the 4G era begins, it is expected to increase data usage more than another sevenfold over the next seven years in Bangladesh.

According to the BTRC, the average 3G speed is now 3.75 MBPS. Before the 3G service was launched, the speed used to be calculated in KBPS. The 4G speed is expected to be at least 10 MBPS.

To enjoy 4G benefits, subscribers will need 4G-enabled handsets along with a 4G SIM. The area of usage should be under the 4G network coverage, explained Grameenphone CEO Michael Foley.

However, a source within one of the mobile phone operators said that the internet pack will be over before the stipulated time due to the high 4G speed. Suppose a subscriber needs a 2-GB internet pack for one month at 3G speed. This need will double in the case of 4G. Also, the mobile phone battery will drain out faster due to the high internet speed.

“If 3G is internet highway, 4G will be internet expressway,” remarked an official of a mobile phone operator, adding that faster speed means faster consumption of bandwidth volume. So, a subscriber will initially be cautious of using the service.

The 4G service will allow customers to watch HD videos and live TV streaming smoothly, and enjoy crystal-clear video calling and super-fast downloads.

The service will benefit people working in the

e-commerce, outsourcing, and other internet-based sectors. Uploads and downloads in 4G will be more than twice as fast as those in 3G service.

Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology Minister Mustafa Jabbar told The Independent that the operators will provide 4G service by ensuring the quality of service (QoS). “Service is not a charity; it is the right of the customer. So, the operators must keep this in mind and ensure QoS,” he added.