The mobile operators on Monday launched the fourth-generation mobile internet, 4G services, in different parts of Dhaka and Chittagong after getting the licence from the telecom regulator.
Three largest operators—Grameenphone, Robi and Banglalink launched the services in the capital with some other major cities soon after getting the licences in the evening. However, state-run Teletalk has not launched its 4G services yet.
The ministry of posts and telecommunications handed over the 4G licences to the operators during a function at Dhaka Club.Posts and Telecommunications Minister Mustafa Jabbar handed over two separate licences including the 4G licence and licence of radio communication apparatus to each of the operators.
Prime minister’s ICT Affairs Adviser Sajeeb Wazed Joy greeted the mobile operators on the auspicious occasion by sending a message.
Initially, Grameenphone rolled out 4G services in 80 locations whereas Banglalink and Robi launched the services in 200 and 179 locations respectively within minutes after getting the licences.
Currently, Grameenphone 4G services are available in Bashundhara, Baridhara and Gulshan areas of Dhaka, and in Dampara, Khulshi and Nasirabad areas of Chittagong.
Additional areas of Dhaka and Chittagong will come under GP’s 4G coverage within a few days. Most divisional cities are also expected to see 4G coverage very soon. The operator plans to roll out its 4G network in the fastest and widest manner, like it did with 3G, and cover all district headquarters in six months, GP officials said.
Members of the Parliamentary Standing Committee Post and Telecommunication Ministry Moazzem Hossain Ratan, MP and Begum Hosneara Lutfa Dalia, MP, Post and Telecommunications Secretary Shyam Sundar Sikder, BTRC chairman Dr Shahjahan Mahmood, Grameenphone Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Michael Foley, Banglalink CEO Erik Aas, Robi CEO Mahtab Uddin Ahmed and senior officials concerned attended the function.
BTRC Chairman Dr Shahjahan Mahmood said the telecom regulator will release a service guideline for 4G services fixing the minimum speed requirement of 7 Mbps.
Grameenphone CEO Michael Foley announced the launch of 4G service through Facebook Live from the venue after the licence handover ceremony, while the Deputy CEO & CMO Yasir Azman led the employee celebrations at the company’s headquarters.
Speaking at the launch of 4G services, Grameenphone CEO Michael Foley said, “Today is indeed a proud moment for us all in Bangladesh and a big milestone to the realisation of Digital Bangladesh. We are committed to providing the best 4G experience to our valued customers and our 4G rollout plan will ensure uncompromised customer experience.”
He also thanked Bangladesh Government, the telecom ministry and regulator for their hard work to make 4G a reality in Bangladesh.
The 4G rollout plan, combined with its modern network’s ability to adopt the future-forward technology, will allow customers to experience HD video and live TV streaming, crystal-clear video calling, and super-fast downloads.
Grameenphone Deputy CEO Yasir Azman said, “We are very excited to launch 4G services in Bangladesh. We are working with different stakeholders to make the service affordable for our customers starting with the launch of two co-branded 4G-enabled smartphones. We will continue our efforts to enable our customers to connect to what matters most to them and enjoy the full benefit of the best 4G services of the country.”
Grameenphone will arrange a press conference today at Radisson Bay View in Chittagong to launch its 4G services in the port city. Grameenphone Chief Human Resources Officer Quazi Shahed, Head of Digital Solaiman Alam, and Head of Circle Shaon Azad will also be present at the event.
“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 services in Dhaka, Chittagong, Khulna, and Sylhet covering over 200 sites. The mobile operator will organise a 4G launching event in Khulna on the occasion on Tuesday.
Robi’s 4G service will be available in all the district headquarters from today.
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 across the country in shortest possible of time although eco-system is not ready for it set,” he added.
Robi will host a ceremony for introducing 4G services today. The programme will be simultaneously held in eight divisional headquarters and at Bangabandhu International Conference Center (BICC) in Dhaka.
Posts and Telecommunication Minister Mustafa Jabbar, State Minister for ICT Zunaid Ahmed Palak, BTRC chairman Dr Shahjahan Mahmood will attend the function.
The government has earned Tk 5,268.51 crore by selling 15.6 Megahertz (MHz) of spectrum to Grameenphone Ltd and Banglalink Digital through 4G auction as well as conversion fee for technology neutrality.