Bangladesh has entered an era of digital connectivity as three mobile phone operators rolled out the 4G mobile phone services in the country on Monday night.
They have launched the 4G services in the cities of Dhaka, Chittagong, Khulna and Sylhet soon after getting the licences from Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC).
BTRC Chairman Shahjahan Mahmood officially handed over the licenses to the chief executive officers of four mobile phone operators – Grameenphone, Robi, Banglalink and Teletalk at a function organised by Association of Mobile Telecom Operators of Bangladesh (AMTOB) at Dhaka Club.
The operators also received the tech neutrality and radio communication apparatus licences at the function. A message of Prime Minister’s ICT Advisor Sajeeb Wazed Joy was read out by BTRC Director General (Spectrum) Brigadier General Nasim Parvez.
The mobile phone companies will launch the high-speed internet services in other major cities and towns gradually. Terming the launching of the 4G services a milestone for the country, Mustafa Jabbar said government’s services will reach people’s doorsteps through mobile phones.
Urging the mobile phone operators to improve their services so that people can be benefited with the 4G services, he directed the BTRC to look into whether charging Tk 110 for the 4G SIM replacement is logical.
The BTRC chairman described the launching of the 4G services a groundbreaking step, saying the internet speed will get a big boost. Earlier on February 13, BTRC held the 4G spectrum auction for allocating new frequencies to mobile operators. The government earned Tk 5268.51 crore in revenue.
Bangla link took 10.6 MHz spectrum from different two bands – 2100 and 1800, with a price of Tk. 2558 crore while Grameenphone took 5MHz from 1800 band with a price of Tk. 1284 crore.
Robi did not buy any spectrum as it and Airtel have merged into one operator while Teletalk has already enough spectrum to launch the 4G services. The government also earned another Tk 850.4 crore as tech neutrality fees from three operators: GP, Banglalink and Robi, and VAT of total Tk 5289.08 crore. Teletalk, Citycell, Banglalink, Grameenphone and Robi participated in the auction. Citycell was not allowed as it had lost the operator licence.