Bangladeshi CDMA fixed-wireless telephony operator RanksTel plans to launch a new wireless broadband internet service by the end of this year after the telecoms regulator approved its application for additional spectrum in the 800MHz band, reports local newspaper The Daily Star. The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has approved the allocation of an additional 2×1.25MHz of 800MHz bandwidth, according to RanksTel’s chief operating officer Abul K Shamsuddin, which he claimed is adequate to provide a 3Mbps CDMA2000 1xEV-DO-based service. ‘We are discussing the matter with our vendor. We will have to set up some additional equipment on top of the existing ones, along with software,’ Mr Shamsuddin disclosed, adding that residential users would be the main target of the proposed venture. Having offered CDMA fixed-wireless telephony and fixed internet access since 2005, RanksTel suffered a major setback when its business was completely shut down for two years in 2010/11 following a state clampdown on illegal VoIP operations, while today its services cover Dhaka, Chittagong, Bogra, Sylhet and Khulna, its COO confirmed.
Mobile EV-DO-based broadband data services are currently offered in Bangladesh by CityCell under the ‘Zoom Ultra’ brand, while an EV-DO service from RanksTel is likely to be launched under its existing fixed telecoms and ISP licences, and therefore be fixed-wireless rather than fully mobile.