Officials of Grameenphone and Banglalink expressed their optimism regarding the newly acquired cellular frequencies, saying that this new technology would reduce call drops and other network issues. Moreover, 4G mobile phone services would become available.
The officials shared their views at an auction for upgraded cellular frequencies organized by Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) at the Dhaka Club on Tuesday. The combined revenue of the government from this auction as well as bandwidth neutrality is Tk5,268 crore 51 lakh.
At the event, Banglalink purchased 5.6 Megahertz (MHz) of bandwidth of the 1800 MHz band and 5 MHz of the 2100 MHz band, while Grameenphone purchased a total of 15.6 MHz of bandwidth including 5.6 MHz of the 1800 MHz band.
The total cost of the bandwidth sold at the auction is a staggering Tk3,787.8 crores in the current market, which, after applying fees for bandwidth neutrality and VAT become Tk5,289.08 crores.
Post, Telecommunication, and Information Technology Minister Mustafa Jabbar was the chief guest at the event, with the Chairman of BTRC Shahjahan Mahmood present as a special guest. Elite BTRC officials as well as high-ranking personnel from the telecommunication industry were also present. Operators Teletalk and Robi did not participate in the auction as they already possess the required bandwidth.
Dr Shahjahan Mahmood said, “The purchase of these frequencies will hopefully improve the performance of these telecom companies.”
Alluding to Malaysia and Germany for comparison, he said, “Bangladesh serves 15 times as many mobile users with each MHz of bandwidth, so Bangladesh leads in terms of quality of service considering the provisions.”
Mustafa Jabbar said, “We have provided bandwidth neutrality and spectra. Now you cannot excuse yourselves by saying that they lack the technology. You were increasing your client base without increasing your bandwidth, but now you cannot do that. There should be no lacking in customer service. To me, quality is the first priority.”
The minister related his own experiences, saying that call drop rates were atrocious to the point where a single call was dropped 8 times. He stressed that this could not continue, and that the problem had to be solved.
This article was first published on banglatribune.com