Telecom Lead Asia: Teletalk, telecom service provider in Bangladesh, has launched 3G services in the country.
Teletalk is the first operator in Bangladesh to launch third generation mobile services.
According to the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission, until August, Teletalk had nearly 1.4 million subscribers of which only 25,000 subscribers are using its internet connection while the six mobile-phone operators had a combined 99.5 million subscribers.
TeleTalk will distribute 400,000 3G SIMs for capital Dhaka initially.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday inaugurated 3G mobile services.
She said Bangladesh’s millions of cell phone users will have access to high-speed 3G Internet through their mobile phones at a relatively lower rate.
The launch of 3G services could assist in minimizing the digital divide in Bangladesh, a country being poorly served by broadband Internet services.
Teletalk’s 3G services will initially be available in capital Dhaka and later in other cities and towns. Teletalk got the opportunity to launch 3G before other private operators as being the state-run cell phone operator.
The state-run company will have to pay for 3G spectrum the same amount of money other private operators spend although it does not need to take part in an auction.
Bangladeshi telecommunications ministry, which is finalizing the draft of the 3G guideline, will award licenses to run 3G mobile services through an open auction.
Grameenphone, Robi, Banglalink and Airtel are expected to bid for the 3G spectrum.
Apart from Bangladesh’s private cellphone operators, foreign companies will be able to take part in the auction to run 3G technology.
Bangladesh has around 95.528 million mobile phone subscribers at the end of August.
The mobile subscribers of cell phone operators — Grameenphone, Banglalink, Robi, Airtel, Citycell, Teletalk — stood at 39.803 million, 25.743 million, 20.144 million, 6.784 million, 1.683 million and 1.367 million respectively by the end of August.