With the introduction of 4G mobile network service in Bangladesh, users have started getting the benefit of high speed internet service from Internet service providers (ISPs).
ISPs have already boosted bandwidth by four times, but subscribers do not have to pay extra for that.
To survive in the market, the ISPs have taken numerous customer-friendly initiatives, including redefining internet packages and raising package slots, sources said.
Critics said the ISPs could have offered the service much earlier. However, the ISP Association leaders refuted the criticism, saying that they would have done it earlier but the subscribers would not have felt a difference with 4G network.
A number of ISPs including Amber IT, Comilla Online, Link 3, Triangle, and Optimax Solutions have redefined their packages and increased bandwidth without raising their rates. They are also offering packages at lower rates to increase home connections.
Internet service providers have even made packages offering 100mbps (megabytes per second) speed, which is unprecedented.
The average 3G network speed in the country is 3.75mbps. In 4G network speed is 7-10mbps. The speed of broadband internet usually ranges from a minimum of 5-10 mbps to a maximum of 100 mbps. Subscribers will therefore enjoy more speed in ISP broadband internet than 4G mobile broadband.
This increased speed offered by ISPs is being dubbed as “trolley broadband.”
Mobile operators buy bandwidth and then set a “data cap” (a service provider-imposed limit on the amount of data). Such operators can never provide unlimited bandwidth.
On the other hand, ISPs sell bandwidth which is why the demand for ISP broadband keeps rising.
According to Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC), until January 31, there were 5.34 million broadband internet users across Bangladesh. However, sources said the number has increased recently.
Amber IT Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Aminul Hakim said: “We have already redefined packages. We are currently targeting home users meaning those who use internet at their residences.
“We have made packages with speeds ranging from 10 mbps to 100mbps. We have upgraded the speed to 10mbps from previous 2.5mbps and 12mbps from 3mbps with the same charge.”
Aminul said they were even providing real internet protocols (IP) for resident connections.
“To survive in the business, we have to provide subscribers with good service and different contents at low price,” he conceded.
Sources said the resident-based internet service subscribers now enjoy programs and sports on YouTube with fewer buffering delays.
Besides, freelancers and graphic designers can send their work faster. Those involved with telemedicine service are now able to provide better service. Since these services require internet with more bandwidth, the ISP broadband has found a niche there.
ISP Association General Secretary Emdadul Haque said: “The 4G network has brought benefits to broadband internet. People have now become able to realize the difference.
“4G network is rather a blessing instead of threat. We have limitations. We want to provide more bandwidth but cannot do that all the time.
“We are addressing problems outside Dhaka. Instead of resorting to competition we are trying to provide better service. As a result the subscribers are getting quality service,” he said.
Emdad further said: “Broadband use of internet service providers has already risen by 20-25%. The number of subscribers is also increasing. We want to reach the marginal people of the country with this speed.”
This article was first published on banglatribune.com