Bangladesh’s largest mobile operator by users, GrameenPhone, has launched a fixed WiMAX-based internet service in Dhaka and Chittagong in partnership with two ISPs, ADN Telecom and Agni Systems. The WiMAX service is being jointly provided by the three companies which are sharing network infrastructure and customer service points, including more than 200 base stations in the two cities, with another 100 base stations to be installed in the short term, according to Abdul Matin Miazi, CEO of ADN, quoted by the Daily Star. The ISPs have established the new shared network by utilising GrameenPhone’s infrastructure and customer care centres, and are using common branding, but their billing systems will remain separate, Miazi confirmed. The executive elaborated that Agni and ADN are using their 3500MHz band fixed WiMAX spectrum for the service, with 14MHz bandwidth held by each. The three-way project previously gained regulatory approval, he noted. Another Bangladeshi paper, the Financial Express, adds that the new fixed WiMAX service, jointly branded as ‘Go Broadband’, offers ‘minimum’ speeds of 1Mbps to end-users, according to GrameenPhone officials. TeleGeography notes that Go Broadband is not being offered under a mobile WiMAX/LTE (Broadband Wireless Access – BWA) licence, and therefore is restricted to fixed WiMAX connections, as Bangladesh has only licensed three BWA providers to date (Banglalion, Qubee and Ollo). TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database says that Agni Systems launched commercial fixed WiMAX 3500MHz services in January 2007 in Dhaka for corporate customers, while the WiMAX joint venture plan with GrameenPhone and ADN (Advanced Data Network Systems) was hatched in Q2 2013 in order to expand into the residential segment. ADN’s existing services also focus on offering corporate clients in Dhaka wireless and wireline internet connections. GlobalComms continues that the Go Broadband service uses 802.16e radio access equipment (with mobility disabled) and GrameenPhone’s backbone network capacity. The shared Go Broadband website advertises fixed WiMAX modems only (no USB dongles) and packages for personal and company users, with speeds of 512kbps-1Mbps for consumers and 512kbps-2Mbps for enterprises, plus dedicated bandwidth packages for larger corporates.
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