Bangladeshi mobile WiMAX network operator Augere Wireless Broadband (Qubee) has signed an agreement with IT and network infrastructure software provider Alepo for a new business support system (BSS) to enable it to deliver more advanced services to its mobile broadband customers as it develops its forthcoming LTE-based product range. The new BSS will replace Qubee’s legacy BSS / operation support system (OSS) platform, while Alepo states in its release that it is ‘dedicated to help LTE players bring real value to their customers beyond great speed.’ Qubee currently serves 21 Bangladeshi cities/towns with WiMAX broadband services, but it announced in October 2013 that LTE-based trials were planned following amendments to Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) licensing allowing LTE.
Alepo also highlights that since 2010 it has worked with Qubee’s larger rival BWA operator Banglalion, which also offers WiMAX services – currently covering all seven divisional headquarter cities plus 38 major districts of Bangladesh – and is similarly migrating to LTE technology (having recently changed its website to banglalion4g.com from banglalionwimax.com). In mid-August 2014 Banglalion and Chinese network equipment provider Huawei Technologies signed a 4G LTE network upgrade and expansion agreement which included technical support. TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that another Chinese vendor, ZTE, previously acted as the exclusive WiMAX network supplier for Banglalion, using a technology configuration supporting TD-LTE evolution. Following the Huawei deal, Banglalion says it expects to start offering LTE-based services ‘from the end of 2014’.
TeleGeography adds that Qubee is also likely to use Huawei to support its LTE commercial launch, having awarded a network contract to the latter Chinese vendor in 2011 covering expansion of WiMAX base stations using SingleRAN solutions supporting future upgrades to dual mode WiMAX/TD-LTE.
However, both these WiMAX operators could be beaten to the punch by rival BWA licensee Ollo, which has trialled LTE and, as reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate in September, has contracted ZTE to deploy an FDD-based LTE mobile broadband (data-only) network spanning over 1,100 base stations, under a plan to cover all seven divisional headquarter cities and 20 other major district cities in the first phase of its full commercial rollout.