Medhat El Husseiny, chief technology officer of Bangladesh’s largest cellco GrameenPhone, has told journalists that the country’s mobile operators are unlikely to roll out 4G LTE services this year, as most users do not have 4G-enabled handsets, while other factors include the market price of handsets and the availability of adequate spectrum. However, he added that GrameenPhone will introduce LTE in ‘one to two years’, as it has already made the necessary modernisations to its network capacity, while prices of most 4G-enabled devices currently range between USD100 and USD150 and therefore need to fall significantly to facilitate 4G adoption in the country. As quoted by Bangladeshi newspaper The Daily Star, the CTO also gave an update on GrameenPhone’s existing 3G and 2.5G voice/data network business, saying: ‘We have reached half of the population with 3G coverage. Full coverage may need another five-six years, subject to technology evolution and market dynamics.’ This year, GrameenPhone will expand 3G network coverage and capacity, while focusing on ‘customer insight, data network analytics, better understanding of customer behaviour and providing better services altogether’, Husseiny added, while also disclosing that an average 72GB-80GB of data are currently carried over its network per day. The market-leading operator is working towards a target of increasing its number of mobile data users from around eleven million to 50 million in the next five years.
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