Bangladesh Internet Exchange Limited (BIEL), operating under the Ollo brand name, has signed a contract with Chinese technology giant ZTE for a nationwide 4G LTE wireless broadband network rollout. Following the contract signing, on 3 September BIEL obtained the requisite No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (BTRC) which denotes regulatory clearance for the importing of equipment and allows it to proceed with the LTE network rollout, the ISP announced in a press release. The network will be the first of its type in Bangladesh.
Under the contract ZTE will deploy an end-to-end network solution including Evolved Packet Core (EPC), value added service (VAS) and LTE (FDD) mobile access network layers, spanning over 1,100 LTE base stations across Bangladesh. Having begun an LTE trial network in April this year in Dhaka using ZTE’s equipment, Ollo now plans to cover all seven divisional headquarter cities and 20 other major district cities in the first phase of its full commercial rollout. The company’s press release adds that the project supports the Digital Bangladesh programme, which aims to develop e-Government and mobile banking initiatives and bridge the digital divide in Bangladesh. Ollo is operating under a Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) licence, meaning that its 4G LTE (FDD) services will initially be mobile data-only, although BIEL notes in its release that it has tested various LTE-supporting smartphones from manufacturers such as Samsung, Nokia, LG, Yota (Russia), ZTE, OK Mobile (Bangladesh), Apple and other devices, adding that its technical team is confident that users connecting LTE smartphones, tablets or ‘MiFi’ routers to its network will be able to reach peak download speeds of up to 150Mbps. Russian-backed BIEL – and its ISP partner New Generation Graphics Limited (NGGL) which shares the Ollo brand – currently offers WiMAX wireless broadband services covering various areas of Dhaka and its surrounds.