Ollo, a local WiMAX brand, which recently hit the headlines for irregularities in allocation of spectrum, importing equipment and running operations without proper permits, Saturday admitted they do not have the required permits to run WiMAX or LTE services and they were importing equipments for those.
Top officials of the brand’s constituting Internet Service Providers (ISPs), Bangladesh Internet Exchange Limited (BIEL) and New Generation Graphics Limited, faced the press in a meet at the Westin Dhaka.
BIEL Managing Director Yulia Akstyutina said: “We are importing WiMAX equipment without mobility with the prior permission of the regulator.”
“However, we have never claimed OLLO is a WiMAX operator anywhere. We have applied for Broadband Wireless Access [WiMAX] license and if the government approves we will have more scope to widen out services.”
Replying to another question Sergey Topalov, Managing Director of ISP New Generation Graphics Limited (NGGL) said: “Though we do not have the LTE license, we are importing the equipments. But we are not using them currently and will not do so without proper permits ever.”
LTE is a standard wireless communication of high-speed data terminals and the regulators are yet to hand out permits to operator for providing the service. BTRC is currently preparing to auction 3G, 4G or LTE license and spectrum, through which they aim to earn millions of dollars. However, Ollo has already imported equipment for the service and have set up networks in Dhaka and other areas of the country.
The BIEL boss addressed the matter and alleged that a lot of ISP’s are importing WiMAX equipment and that it is nothing new. Both of the Russian internet experts claimed that they have no intention to provide 3G mobile services even though there are such rumours in the market.
The brand recently rushed in an application for a WiMAX permit to the BTRC seeking to legalise operations. They based the application on a September, 2008 auction where BIEL participated. However, they were offered the license then but they refused and withdrew the Tk30m earnest money.
Akstyutina and Topalov claimed that both BIEL and NGGL use separate networks and spectrum but market their services under a common brand. “Ollo is nothing but a word, it has no meaning and it has no mother company also,” Yulia Aksyutina said.
Ollo informed they have crossed 25,000 internet broadband subscriber milestone recently and yesterday’s press meet was arranged on that occassion. The brand started operations in Dhaka in early 2012 and have covered major areas in the metropolitan including Uttara, Gulshan, Banani, Mohakhali, Dhanmondi, Motijheel and surrounding areas.
It started as a joint venture of BIEL, NGGL and Russian Multinet and later BIEL and NGGL was brought off from their local stakeholders.