Bangladesh’s first and second largest mobile operators by users, GrameenPhone (GP) and Banglalink, have agreed to share network infrastructure to cut the cost of providing services to rural areas, reports local newspaper The Daily Star. Foremost, the partnership will help Banglalink expand its coverage via larger rival GP’s network. ‘The deal is part of an aggressive strategy to roll out networks together in the rural market,’ read a statement concerning the 1 February deal. According to the most recently published figures Grameenphone and Banglalink together serve 37.1 million customers out of the country’s 52.4 million mobile subscriber market. Infrastructure to be shared under the agreement includes base transceiver stations (BTSs), spectrum, antenna, feeder cable, radio access network, microwave radio equipment, billing platform, switching centres, router, base station controller, optical fibre access and backbone transmission network and database. Banglalink, a unit of Egypt’s Orascom, recently announced a plan to raise BDT4.25 billion (USD62.5 million) through bonds to expand and upgrade its network, in the process improving its mobile data services capabilities.
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