Bangladesh’s second-largest cellco Banglalink, a subsidiary of Global Telecom Holding (formerly Orascom Telecom Holding), itself a division of Vimpelcom, has confirmed that it will launch 3G mobile services in October, matching the previously announced 3G rollout schedules of its main rivals GrameenPhone, Robi Axiata and Airtel Bangladesh. At a press conference in Dhaka yesterday, Banglalink’s CEO Ziad Shatara announced that 3G services would be inaugurated in the capital next month, ahead of expansion to Chittagong, Sylhet and Khulna by December, by which date the whole of the Dhaka metropolitan area is scheduled to be covered, local newspaper the Daily Star reported. Network rollout has already begun, allowing Mr Shatara to make a test 3G video call at the press event to a colleague at Vimpelcom’s headquarters in Amsterdam. As reported by CommsUpdate, Banglalink on Saturday revealed that it has chosen China’s Huawei Technologies as its main equipment supplier to deploy a 2100MHz W-CDMA/HSPA+ network under a USD300 million 3G rollout budget. All four Bangladeshi private sector GSM network operators received 2100MHz UMTS licences earlier in the month, joining state-run Teletalk which had been allowed a headstart in the UMTS segment.
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