Dhaka’s long wait for new phone operator nearly over?

21 Jun 2007

The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) says it is planning to grant licences to private fixed line network operators in the capital Dhaka by the end of this month. ‘We are prepared to issue licences to private [land line] companies to operate in the central zone (the designated telecoms zone including the city). We expect to offer the licences by the end of this month,’ BTRC Chairman Major General (Retired) Manjurul Alam told reporters. ‘All of the companies are interested to operate in Dhaka as the profit margin is higher here. We will tag a condition that any company interested to operate in Dhaka is obliged to expand their activities nationwide and this is mandatory,’ said the chairman. Any company failing to expand its activities outside Dhaka as per its plan submitted to the Commission will face a heavy fine, he added. The authority is yet to publish final details of licence fees and the number of concessions up for grabs. The BRTC also confirmed that it would not renew any existing licence of operators that had failed to launch services in the city – presumably referring to WorldTel, the British Virgin Islands-registered firm which was issued with a fixed licence concession in July 2001 but has delayed a promised launch of CDMA WiLL-based limited mobility PSTN services ever since. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, despite the successful licensing and launch of a host of new fixed line and fixed-wireless operators in all other areas of the country, an estimated 250,000 Dhaka residents are still waiting for a fixed connection, with incumbent Bangladesh Telegraph & Telephone Board (BTTB) unable to meet demand. The central metropolitan zone, covering Dhaka city, Zinjira, Savar, Narayanganj, Gazipur and Tongi, accounts for over half of Bangladesh’s telecoms demands, according to the BTRC. According to GlobalComms, provincial private WiLL operators itching to meet the ready demand in the capital include Telebarta (Jubok Phone), National TeleCom (NationalPhone), Peoples Telecom (PeoplesTel), GEP Telecom, OneTel Communications, Ranks Telecom (RanksTel), Jalalabad Telecom (Bijoy Phone), Banglaphone, Westec (Bay Phones) and SA Telecom.


Subscribe to CommsUpdate to get the day’s top telecom headlines delivered to your email.

Subscribe to CommsUpdate



Filter CommsUpdate by the following categories or use the search.


Visit our help page information on performing advanced searches, including how to restrict the results by country or company.


CommsUpdate is an outstanding advertising venue for companies seeking to reach:

  • International carriers
  • Wholesale service providers
  • Equipment and software vendors
  • Telecom investors
  • Regulators

Learn more about advertising on CommsUpdate.