All the three private mobile phone operators—Grameenphone, Robi and Banglalink— will launch 4G services today immediately after getting licences from the telecom regulator.
Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission has scheduled to hand-over 4G licences to all the three entities along with the state-owned Teletalk today in the evening at a ceremony to be held at Dhaka Club.
Although the government would issue 4G licences with a view to give mobile phone subscribers with high speed internet connection, the operators are yet to ensure 3G internet speed in major areas of the country excluding a number of cities.
Under the 3G service, mobile phone operators were supposed to ensure internet speed of 512 kilobyte per second, while the speed rate under the 4G services were proposed at 7.5 megabyte per second.
The 4G speed rate, however, is yet to be finalised by the government.
On the other hand, officials of the mobile phone operators have already informed that they have taken sufficient preparation to launch 4G services on Monday.
They also said that the extent of the service would be very limited within a couple of cities especially in Dhaka.
In addition, they also said that all the subscribers within the Dhaka city would not be able to get the service immediately on the day.
Lack of network upgradation in many areas of Dhaka along with absence of 4G-enabled SIMs and handsets at the customers end were the reasons that would take some time to increase the extent of 4G roll-out.
Under the 4G roll-out obligations mentioned in the 4G guidelines, existing mobile phone operators will have to roll-out 4G service in all divisional headquarters within nine months of getting licence in first phase.
In the second phase, the operators will have to introduce the service in another 30 per cent of the district headquarters within one-and-a-half year of getting licence.
In third phase, operators will have to roll-out the service in all district headquarters within three years from the licence issuance, the 4G guidelines said.
‘We are expecting to provide 4G service by tomorrow afternoon as soon as we get the licence,’ said GP chief executive officer Michael Foley while speaking at a press conference at the city’s Westin Hotel on Sunday.
The users of two cities including Dhaka, who already upgraded their SIM cards for the 4G services, would get the service within 15 minutes of launching, the GP CEO said.
‘Within a few minutes of receiving 4G licence, Robi will launch its 4G services,’ Robi Axiata managing director and chief executive officer Mahtab Uddin Ahmed said in an statement issued on Sunday.
Banglalink chief executive officer Erik Aas in another statement said, ‘We are enthusiastically looking forward to tomorrow’s highly anticipated 4G launch.’
‘4G will take Bangladesh towards a digital future opening up innumerable possibilities,’ he said.
After securing the 4G license on Sunday, Banglalink will launch 4G in some of the major sites in Dhaka, Khulna, Sylhet and Chittagong regions, the Banglalink statement said.
State-run Teletalk, however, is yet to complete preparation to launch the service.
When asked about the prices of 4G data packages, the officials of the mobile phone operators and BTRC said that the prices of data packages would be almost same as currently offered under the 3G services.
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