State to allocate USD300 million for Teletalk, USD90 million for WiMAX

11 May 2009

The Bangladeshi government says it will allocate a BDT20 billion (USD300 million) development fund to state-owned cellco Teletalk to enable the struggling operator to expand its customer base to 5.5 million in the next few years, up from just under a million currently, reports Star Business. ‘Of the planned customer acquisitions, 1.5 million would be 3G customers,’ said Mojibur Rahman, managing director of Teletalk. The GSM provider was launched in 2005 but has not been able to expand its network capacity beyond a million users due to funding shortages. Teletalk is currently undertaking a BDT2.7 billion expansion project with the aim of reaching 1.8 million users this year, in partnership with Nokia Siemens Networks and Huawei Technologies, and it has so far established a network presence in 64 districts, 402 upazilas (sub-districts) and most main roads. The government announced the planned assistance to Teletalk as part of a wider programme to develop state-run operations struggling to compete with the private sector, including a BDT6 billion (USD90 million) fund for developing WiMAX wireless broadband technology, BDT15 billion for next generation network (NGN) and fibre-optic infrastructure, and BDT2 billion for other IT/internet services. However, the execution of the entire programme is subject to availability of loans from Japan International Cooperation Agency, whilst officials said the government is also seeking BDT20 billion from the Chinese government.

Bangladesh, Teletalk,

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