Bay Phones steals a march on competition

22 Mar 2005

Fixed line operator Westec this week became the first privately owned company in Bangladesh to offer wireline telephony services. Sunday saw the commercial launch of its network in the country’s south-eastern city of Chittagong, covering a potential customer base of 100,000. Westec, an expatriate Bangladeshi-owned company, is operating in the region under the name Bay Phones. It is one of two alternative operators to have been issued a concession in the country’s south-eastern zone, with rival QC yet to announce launch plans. The fixed line market has, up until now, been dominated by state-owned Bangladesh Telegraph and Telephone Board (BTTB), but the state-owned incumbent’s rollout has been slow and patchy – there are still under a million lines in service across the country – and the government has begun licensing other operators in an attempt to develop the market. According to the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC), by the end of January 2005 there were 17 fixed line licensees in the country.

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