Displaying items by tag: Bangladesh

4G auctions to be held in Bangladesh

Written on Wednesday, 24 January 2018 08:01

Four telecom operators in Bangladesh have applied to partake in a 4G auction in February, the Daily Star reported. The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) was given the green light to proceed with the auction, after the Bangladesh Supreme Court halted it.

The auction was stayed by the Supreme Court in response to a petition from Banglalion Communications arguing that the notice inviting applications for 4G licenses contravenes 2008 wireless broadband guidelines specifying that no auction would be held, but the auction will now go ahead with the Supreme Court’s approval.

The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has indicated that 4G services will be available in the country by March. According to the report, BRTC has received four applications for 4G licenses, and state-run Teletalk has not applied to take part in the auction.

In a bid to resume offering services, operator Citycell, confirmed its participation in the auction, after it was forced to suspend operations in 2017. The operator’s spectrum was revoked due to unpaid license fees. Citycell will partake in the auction happening on February 13.

Published in Government

Chinese smartphone brands see 125% growth in Bangladesh

Written on Thursday, 18 January 2018 12:17

Chinese smartphone brands continue to grow in Bangladesh and now capture 29 percent of the market, up from 13 percent a year ago, according to Counterpoint Research. In Q3 2017, Chinese smartphone brands grew 125 percent year-on-year in the South Asian nation.

“Chinese brands have been aggressively expanding in the Bangladesh smartphone market with low-cost offerings. Major Chinese brands like Huawei, iTel, Xiaomi and OPPO have already started to make their presence felt by grabbing market share from local brands,” said Shobhit Srivastava, Research Analyst at Counterpoint Research.

“The expected launch of 4G services in January 2018 will further add to the advantage of the Chinese brands, as they offer budget 4G smartphones with good specs,” Srivastava added. “Local brands like Symphony, Walton and Winmax will have to quickly adapt to the change in the market if they want to maintain share.”

Symphony Mobile remained the number one handset player in Bangladesh with 26 percent market share, but its sales declined 24 percent annually and 19 percent sequentially owing to tough competition from players like iTel and Nokia.

Samsung was able to maintain its second position in the smartphone segment with 14 percent market share. Its sales nevertheless declined 3 percent compared to Q3 2016. Its Galaxy J2 model was the number one smartphone sold in the country during the quarter thanks to strong promotions.

Huawei clinched the third spot in the smartphone segment with 8.5 percent market share in the quarter. Its low-cost Y series smartphones helped the brand stay relevant to Bangladeshi consumers. Walton was the only other Bangladesh brand to be featured in the top five smartphone brands list, achieving 8.3 percent market share.

iTel, another Chinese brand, has been aggressively expanding its presence in Bangladesh smartphone market with its low cost mobile phone offerings. The brand at number five captured 6.9 percent share of the Bangladesh smartphone market.

The Bangladesh mobile handset market grew 19 percent annually and 1 percent sequentially. Smartphone growth slowed during the quarter growing by just 3 percent annually. Smartphone shipments contributed to 24 percent of the total mobile phone shipments, signaling a slow but steady adoption of smartphones.

Published in Devices

Bangladesh is going to connect its second submarine cable to get another 1500Gbps bandwidth, as the SEA-ME-WE 5 consortium is set to connect its global operation to Bangladesh. The South East Asia-Middle East-Western Europe 5 (SEA-ME-WE 5), a consortium of 15 telecom operators from 17 countries, shared the news at a ceremony in Istanbul, Turkey.

Monwar Hossain, Managing Director of state-owned Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company Limited (BSCCL) which is assigned to handle country bandwidth, said it's a great pride for Bangladesh as the consortium decided to launch the cable on February 21, the International Mother Language Day.

"The second undersea cable would be the real redundancy that might allow Bangladesh to stay online always and start full-fledged international bandwidth trade," he said. Mentioning that Bangladesh has now nearly 300Gbps bandwidth from its lone submarine cable, Monwar said, "We are going to get another 1500Gbps bandwidth from the second undersea cable."

Officials familiar with the project, however, expressed skepticism that Bangladesh may not be able to reap the bandwidth from the opening day because of linkage between capital Dhaka and the landing station of SEA-ME-WE 5 in Patuakhali. But, the BSCCL Managing Director was optimistic that the linkage with the landing station would be completed in stipulated time by the assigned organization.

Bangladesh joined the SEA-ME-WE 5 consortium in March 2014 spending Taka 660 crore. Of the total cost, the government has provided Taka 166 crore while BSCCL has contributed Taka 142 crore and the remaining Taka 352 crore has been collected as loan from the Islamic Development Bank.

The country got its first submarine cable connection -- SEA-ME-WE-4 -- in 2006. SEA-ME-WE-4 has already passed more than half of its lifespan and that is why Bangladesh needed to connect with another cable before 2025. At present, neighboring country India has eight connections, Pakistan four and Sri Lanka three.

The SEA-ME-WE 5 Consortium signed an agreement in Kuala Lumpur on March 7, 2014 to build a state-of-the-art undersea cable. The SEA-ME-WE 5 cable will span approximately 20,000 km, connecting 17 countries through Points-of-Presence (POPs) from Singapore to the Middle East to France and Italy in Western Europe, with a system capacity of 24Tbps.

The cable has connected Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar, Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Qatar, Djibuti, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Italy, Turkey and France via 19 landing points.

Initially, the lifespan of the cable is set at 20 years but it could be extended by five years. Apart from the BSCCL, the SEA-ME-WE 5 consortium includes China Mobile International Limited (CMI), China Telecommunications Global Limited (CTG), China United Network Communications Group Company Limited (CU), Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company(Du), Orange, Myanmar Post and Telecom (MPT), PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia International (Telin), Saudi Telecom Company (STC), Singapore Telecommunications Limited (SingTel), Sri Lanka Telecom PLC (SLT), Telekom Malaysia Berhad (TM), Telecom Italia Sparkle (TIS), TOT Public Company Limited, and Yemen International Telecommunications Co. (TeleYemen).

Published in Infrastructure

Grameenphone 3G reaches 90 percent of Bangladeshis

Written on Sunday, 03 July 2016 06:23

Bangladesh mobile network operator, Grameenphone, says it has completed the installation of 10,000 3G cell sites and now provides 3G cellular coverage to 90 percent of the population.

In January this year Grameenphone CEO, Rajeev Sethi announced the goal to reach 10,000 3G sites by June. “This is one of the fastest as well as the largest 3G rollout in terms of population coverage in the region,” Grameenphone said. “This expansion will not only connect almost all the people of the country to 3G but will enable government and other organizations to take their digital services to the people more effectively.”

Grameenphone said its 3G rollout had delivered coverage of all 64 districts in six months, much less than the 36 months stipulated in the terms of its license. “The network expansion has not only involved adding new 3G sites and conversion of thousands of 2G sites to 3G sites, but also [upgrading] of existing 2G sites to further enhance 2G services for general customers,” the company said.

Grameenphone CTO Medhat ELHusseiny said the project had consumed 1.5 million man-hours with workers travelling 1.3 million kilometers and climbing a total of 680,000 meters, equivalent to 80 Mount Everests.

Published in Telecom Operators

Ericsson to upgrade Robi Axiata’s network in Bangladesh

Written on Tuesday, 02 February 2016 12:21

Ericsson and Bangladesh mobile operator, Robi Axiata, have signed a three-year contract to upgrade Robi's 2G/GSM network in the Chittagong and Comilla regions of Bangladesh to 3G/WCDMA and make it ready for 4G/LTE. Existing base stations will be upgraded and Ericsson will deploy a substantial number of additional 3G/WCDMA sites in the same regions, enabling Robi to expand the network to address demand from rapid data growth.

Ericsson will roll out network hardware and software and provide integration services for the upgrade.

According to the latest edition of the South East Asia and Oceania regional Ericsson Mobility Report, Bangladesh is in the top 10 countries globally for mobile subscription growth; ranking fifth with a net addition of four million mobile subscriptions. The report showed there would be up to 20 percent smartphone subscription penetration by end of 2015 and that this would double by 2018. In addition, data consumption has taken off since the introduction of 3G/WCDMA in 2013.

Robi Axiata is a joint venture between Axiata Group of Malaysia and NTT DoCoMo of Japan. It is the second largest mobile phone operator in Bangladesh in terms of revenue, with 28.4 million subscribers, as of September 2015.

Published in Telecom Vendors