GrameenPhone to launch 3G next month; Airtel contracts Huawei for 3G rollout

10 Sep 2013

The CEO of GrameenPhone (GP), Vivek Sood, has announced that the Bangladeshi mobile market leader will launch 3G services next month, following its win of the largest (2×10MHz) bandwidth 3G 2100MHz licence in Sunday’s auction. As quoted by BDNews24, Sood claimed that initial 3G services will cover some areas of the capital Dhaka and Chittagong in October, before being expanded to the rest of Dhaka district, Narayanganj and Gazipur in November, while by the end of 2013, GP’s 3G services will be available in all seven main divisional headquarter cities. The other private sector 3G licence winners Banglalink, Robi Axiata and Airtel Bangladesh (each purchasing 2×5MHz concessions) are expected to launch services by the end of the year, while state-run Teletalk already operates a W-CDMA/HSPA network after being granted a headstart in the market last year.

Today, Reuters reports that Airtel Bangladesh, part of India’s Bharti Airtel group, has awarded the contract for its 3G network rollout to Chinese equipment maker Huawei Technologies, in a deal of undisclosed value. GrameenPhone also indicated that it has already selected its equipment for 3G rollout, although it did not provide further details.

Chairman of the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC), Sunil Kanti Bose told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday: ‘We expect that the operators will roll out their network in the quickest possible time,’ while indicating that the regulator would formally issue the 3G licences in roughly a week’s time.

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