Bangladesh is going to enter the much-hyped fourth generation (4G) era of mobile phone services this month.
Mobile phone operators have announced that the 4G spectrum will be available as of February 21.
Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has decided to yield the 4G licence to mobile operators by February 20, with the operators agreeing to provide 4G services immediately after getting the licence.
BTRC conducted the auction for 4G spectrum bandwidth at Dhaka Club on Tuesday.
But what kind of facilities will 4G users receive? Top officials of local mobile network operators said at the auction ceremony that customers will get far better facilities, especially in terms of improved internet speed and reduced call drop rates.
A mobile internet consumer used 90MB internet per month at the beginning of 3G service. Now that number has climbed up to 650MB. Over the last five years, the usage of data by mobile phone users has increased more than sevenfold. When the 4G era begins, it will increase the data usage more than an additional sevenfold over the next seven years in Bangladesh.
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However, operators are facing some challenges because 90% of customers will need to buy new handsets.
Moreover, while the expansion of the fibre optic connections that mobile phone operators use to transmit data is controlled by the BTRC, there will soon be changes to make the process simpler and faster.
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Grameenphone CEO Michael Foley said: “The new technology will help us provide better service. The existing technology and the new technology will collectively will bring a faster and more modern network for Grameenphone users.”
He made the statement during the 4G auction ceremony.
“We are extremely delighted to acquire the additional spectrum.” said Erik Aas, CEO of Banglalink, in a press statement yesterday. “Spectrum plays a key role in providing quality services to customers. With the acquisition of the additional spectrum, we will provide customers with seamless digital connectivity and better coverage, enhancing their user experience.”