Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated state-run Teletalk’s long-awaited 3G mobile service on Sunday at Dhaka’s Bangabandhu International Conference Centre, by making a video call to President Zillur Rahman. The W-CDMA/HSPA service is initially available for handset and modem users in the capital over a network spanning some 200 base stations. Both politicians stated that the country’s ‘Digital Bangladesh’ technology goals took a leap forward with the introduction of the 3G service, which they said would play a key role in developing education, health and economic sectors. A licence auction is expected early next year for the country’s private sector cellcos to enter the 3G market (with the 2100MHz concessions also permitting the use of 4G technology). Teletalk was given a headstart in the W-CDMA/HSPA market by the government, and introduced a trial service in July, later than an original schedule of March, while its commercial launch was consequently pushed back, missing its most recent predicted target date of late-September.
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