Bangladeshi mobile operators GrameenPhone and Robi have switched on 3G services on a pre-commercial basis. Robi turned on its pre-commercial 3G services in selected locations of Dhaka and Chittagong, after telecoms minister Sahara Khatun inaugurated the company’s 3G network on Saturday at Robi’s head office in Gulshan, Dhaka. BDnews24 reports that mobile users in parts of Dhaka and Chittagong can access Robi’s 2100MHz W-CDMA service on an experimental basis from 1 October, by visiting its customer service centres in Gulshan and Chittagong’s Muradpur. A commercial service is expected by the end of the month, and Robi is aiming to expand network coverage to 40% of its customer base by the end of the year and 60% in 2014.
The telecoms minster officially inaugurated GrameenPhone’s 3G services at the cellco’s headquarters in the capital on Sunday, while GrameenPhone announced a target of expanding its 2100MHz network to nationwide coverage by April. CEO Vivek Sood confirmed that commercial UMTS services will begin in Dhaka and Chittagong during October and all 68 districts will receive coverage by the end of the first quarter of next year.
Banglalink and Airtel Bangladesh are also deploying 2100MHz networks for launch during October following the 8 September licence auction.