WiMax service provider Qubee has suspended its service for individual subscribers from August 30 with a view to focusing on corporate clients.
The second largest WiMax operator in the country, Qubee, an entity of Augere Wireless Broadband Bangladesh Limited, started its business in 2009 after getting licence in 2008 for a period of 15 years that will expire in 2023.
The operator after a few years of operation managed to attain customers’ attention, bringing around 1.5 lakh customers under its service.
Qubee along with other WiMax service providers, however, failed to retain customers after the launch of third generation (3G) mobile phone service in the country in 2013. The launch of 4G service in February this year affected the WiMax business further.
Following its failure to battle with 3G technology, Qubee suspended its customer segment with the aim of reshaping its business to survive the onslaught of high-speed mobile internet and handed over about 20,000 individual subscribers to its main competitor, Banglalion, under a revenue sharing model.
The company is also squeezing its business in some parts of the country.
Qubee had about 350 base stations in the 25 districts it is allowed by the BTRC to offer its service but the operator is now in the process of bringing it down to 90, said an official of the operator.
Qubee officials said the entity has been shifting its focus more to enterprise business and upgrading their network to long-term evolution (LTE) technology.
They said WiMax technology is becoming obsolete globally and no vendors produce any equipment which supports wireless broadband service.
As LTE is the future technology, so the operator is going to introduce it, they said.
In July this year, an AWBBL statement quoting its chief commercial officer Proteek Kundu said, ‘AWBBL is in the process of upgrading its network to LTE.’
‘We have already launched our LTE services in Bogra and Narayanganj, and very soon we plan to cover the whole country with our LTE services,’ he was quoted as saying.
In addition to this, AWBBL continues its focus on its B2B business, catering to the telecom requirements of its enterprise customers, the AWBBL statement said.
Over the last few months, the company strengthened its product portfolio and is now ready to cater to almost any requirement of an enterprise customer, it said.
Earlier, Qubee informed its customers through letters and requested them to experience similar kind of service under Banglalion.
Under the agreement between Qubee and Banglalion, Qubee will receive 30 per cent of the revenue its customers will generate for Banglalion in the first of its kind arrangement in Bangladesh’s telecom business, sources said.
Meanwhile, Qubee also cut its workforce by half by way of terminating about 90 people last month.
Qubee has about 1,000 corporate customers.