ISPs join hands with GP to ‘go broadband’

4 05 2014

Grameenphone, partnering with two major internet service providers Agni Systems Ltd and ADN Telecom Limited yesterday launched fixed wi-max internet services brand name ‘go broadband’ in Dhaka and Chittagong.

They would next go to Sylhet and rest of the country. All the operators declared their launching officially yesterday in Dhaka.

Full story: Dhaka Tribune


BANGLADESH: Dialling into disaster risk reduction

30 10 2011

Bangladesh’s high-growth mobile phone sector is buying into disaster risk reduction, and the cyclone-affected costal region stands to gain most, say government officials, aid workers and private sector sources.

By the beginning of 2012, the Disaster Management Bureau (DMB) will team up with the country’s largest mobile phone provider Grameenphone, and state-run mobile phone company Teletalk, to provide early warnings for cyclones and floods to all 14 coastal districts.

Full story: IRIN News

Internet Companies in Bangladesh – Sylhet

1 03 2011


Grameenphone Sylhet -Better than most telecom and ISP for village areas, in terms of getting a signal for data however their charges are very high. Hope to see 4G available in every village by 2017.

BanglaLink Sylhet– Price is more competitive than GP however only mainly used in the city.


Home broadband:

Link3 Sylhet – Coverage area in Cities only


Smile Sylhet – Coverage area in Cities only


Mobile broadband:

Banglalion Sylhet – Coverage area in Cities only

Qubee Sylhet – Coverage area in Cities only

Mobile operators poised for Eid festivity

22 08 2009

Some mobile operators have introduced lucrative promotions targeting Ramadan and the Eid to rope in more customers.

Some other operators are preparing to come with specials. Banglalink has already introduced their offers for the season, while Grameenphone, Aktel, Warid, Citycell and TeleTalk officials said their offers would come up in a week.

Banglalink has announced 50 percent bonus talk-time on recharge and 300 percent bonus on reactivation, and reset SMS at Tk 0.50, down from Tk 1.

Lower tariffs, free SMS, cheaper new connections and bonus talk time are the most common offers by the operators.

Mobile use in Bangladesh peaks during Eid. The abnormally high use of the mobile also sometimes leads to network disruptions.

“The number of SMS and voice calls usually jump by more than 30 percent in the first week of Ramadan, while numbers sometimes cross network capacities during Eid,” said Zakiul Islam, president of Association of Mobile Telecom Operators Bangladesh (AMTOB).

Calls made during Eid and Ramadan are mostly diverted to rural areas as people mostly visit their extended families outside Dhaka, said Rubaba Dowla, chief communication officer of Grameenphone. “We experience complete network usage during festivals.”

Bangladesh’s mobile market boost up during any festival time as mobile now is not only communication device; it’s a gift item as well.

The growth in mobile usage is mainly based on the rise in the use of value added services during this season. Ring tones, games, SMS (short message service), MMS (multimedia messaging service), and the latest, call block and voice chat, are the most popular services among customers.

Subscriptions to religious content increase during Ramadan, said Md Sharif Uddin, chief technical officer of Inforev Ltd, a local content developer.

“Customers download more religious items during Ramadan and Eid than any other time,” he said. “While others content downloads, like songs, decreases during the holy month of Ramadan.”

The six mobile operators are now serving around 48 million people in Bangladesh. The monthly average usage by a single customer is only Tk 150. On an average, 48 mobile users generate more than 60 lakh SMSs a day, while during the Eid week, usage doubles.

According to the Bangladesh Mobile Phone Load Traders Association (BMPLTA), people traditionally load more money into their mobiles during Eid.

A total of 25 lakh retailers load credit for 48 crore mobile phone users, on behalf of the six mobile operators. If a retailer loads Tk 2,000 a day on average, figures double during Eid, said Md Aminul Islam, president of BMPLTA.

Rubaba noticed the issues over maintaining network quality during such times of high usage. She said along with proving to be a good business case, a challenge remains.

“We always try to provide better services during such special times, so that none of our customers shift to other operators,” she said. (source)

GP CEO blames high tax

11 07 2009

Grameenphone (GP) has blamed high taxation for the recent stagnant growth of the telecom industry saying customer acquisition by six mobile operators marked 76 percent less in the first three months of the current year than the period a year ago.

“The telecom market is shrinking. High taxation is the main reason behind such stagnant growth,” said Oddvar Hesjedal, GP’s chief executive officer, yesterday.

The country’s six mobile operators added only 1.11million customers during January-March, while the addition was 4.02million during this specific time in 2008.

“If the Tk800 tax on SIM (subscriber identification module) is scrapped in the upcoming budget, we believe the industry can back to its usual growth,” observed the Grameenphone CEO at a press meet disclosing the company’s first quarter financial report at its office in Dhaka.

Grameenphone and its majority stakeholder Norway’s Telenor come out as strong performers, even in the global economic crisis, as the local mobile operator posted an 83 percent rise in operating profit in the first quarter of 2009 over the same period a year ago.

GP is a joint venture — 62 percent owned by Telenor and 38 percent by local Grameen Telecom. Telenor provides voice, data, content and other communication services in 13 countries across Europe and Asia.

Norwegian telecommunications group Telenor reported a 65 percent decline in first quarter net profits, compared with a year earlier.

The group said the net profit in January-March period was 1.62 billion kroner ($248 million) against 4.57 billion kroner a year earlier. Revenues rose to 27.1 billion kroner from 26.38 billion kroner.

GP’s operating profit jumped to 530 million Norwegian Kroner (NOK) (Tk 562.86 crore) in the first three months of 2009, NOK 289 million up from the same period of 2008, according to Telenor’s financial report.

Grameen’s net profit stood at Tk230crore this time.

Pointing to a big untapped market in Bangladesh,

GP’s Chief Financial Officer Arif Al Islam said telecommunication penetration is 30 percent here and it would be increased more if the tax on SIM card goes.

“When the customer acquisition growth goes up, the government can earn more revenues from the mobile industry,” said Islam.

GP is the market leader among the six. The company now holds 46 percent market share with 21 million customers up to March 2009.

Its revenue also went up by 6 percent in the first quarter this year over the same period a year earlier. The first quarter revenue was NOK 1,574 million (NOK 1 = BDT 10.62), while it was NOK 1,153 million in the same period of 2008. Last year’s total revenue was NOK 5,049 million.

The number of subscribers added in Q1 of 2009 was 63,000, a slowdown attributable to the higher start-up price on inclusion of the SIM (subscriber identity module) tax. Along with some other mobile operators, GP increased its connection price to Tk 800.

The operator’s EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) up to March was NOK 934 million, which was NOK 545 million a year earlier. The company said EBITDA increased mainly on higher revenues combined with lower subscription acquisition costs.

The Telenor financial report said GP’s monthly average revenue per user (ARPU) to March was NOK 25, which was NOK 22 a year ago.

The $3.2 billion Grameenphone is the first mobile company that has submitted its plan for listing on the capital market. The $65 million (Tk 449 crore) initial public offering (IPO) proposal however is still under consideration of the capital market watchdog.

Source: The Daily Star

The start of Mobile banking

11 07 2009

Banks, the traditional leader in payment systems, see mobile banking as a new threat if private telecom operators are allowed to use their outlets for money transfer without law.

The central bank governor has taken the bankers’ concern into account and asked them to submit recommendations in writing in two weeks, a senior bank official said.

Bangladesh Bank Governor Dr Salehuddin Ahmed held a meeting with the bankers yesterday over the issue, which came to a head after the central bank moved to make policies on mobile banking.

“We have given our opinions at the meeting and told the central bank that banks have no objection to using modern technology as a tool of expanding delivery channels,” Mahmud Sattar, president of the Association of Banks Bangladesh (ABB), told The Daily Star.

But the transactions must be done through the banks, and mobile phones should be used as a mere banking tool, he said.

“A mobile phone outlet cannot be used as a bank branch.”

“We won’t let anything, which hurts the banking industry, happen. Banks have been asked to submit their proposals in two weeks on the proposed policies,” said a senior central bank official.

The decision to consider banks’ recommendations came at the meeting between the bankers and the BB governor. The meeting discussed two proposed policies — a guideline for mobile phone banking and a set of rules for mobile-phone payment systems.

If the policies are approved, the banks say, mobile operators’ outlets will be used as payment centres. Banks fear the phone companies will take away a large swathe of their business because of thousands of outlets across the country.

Officials present at the meeting said banks had questioned the definition of mobile banking and its legality. They said the facility might be abused.

“This new payment system needs to be regulated and supervised,” said Muhammad A Rumee Ali, chairman of BRAC Bank. “I welcome the move, but it must be under a legal framework to protect clients’ interests.”

Ali, a former deputy governor of the central bank, said, there might be huge scope for abuse of the facility without a proper law.

“Mobile banking will be equivalent to a bank’s traditional business, but banks are operated by tough laws,” said another private bank official who attended the meeting.

“BB should make a law first to introduce phone banking as the money laundering issue is directly involved there,” he said.

Senior officials of BRAC Bank, Dutch-Bangla Bank, Dhaka Bank, Standard Chartered and HSBC were present at the meeting.

The bankers who attended the meeting said the governor had assured them that there would be no decision that affects the banking business.

The BB has taken the step after Grameenphone’s application in December last year for a licence to introduce mobile phone banking.

On receipt of GP’s application, the BB held several meetings with the government agencies and departments, undertook research and studies and visited Thailand and the Philippines.

Local bankers claimed that mobile phone banking exists only in the Philippines, South Africa and Kenya.

Source: The Daily Star