Airtel Bangladesh has launched a 3G test network in the Dhaka districts of Banani and Gulshan-2, while it awaits regulatory approval for its 3G tariffs before launching commercial services over the 2100MHz network later this month, reports local newspaper the Daily Star. All four newly licensed UMTS operators – GrameenPhone, Banglalink, Robi and Airtel – may receive tariff approval within a week, Sunil Kanti Bose, chairman of the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC), told journalists at the launching ceremony at Airtel’s office in Banani. All four cellcos have now launched pre-commercial 3G networks, with Telecom Minister Shahara Khatun officially inaugurating Airtel’s W-CDMA platform by making a video call at the ceremony. Chris Tobit, CEO of Airtel Bangladesh, said the company’s 3G service range would be ‘youth-centric and also attractive to corporate Bangladesh, focusing heavily on entertainment, infotainment, edutainment, m-commerce and m-health,’ while confirming that commercial 3G services would reach Dhaka and Chittagong this month, followed by Sylhet in November and all seven divisional headquarters by January, ahead of expansion to the rest of the country.
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