Grameenphone readies 3G network launch

Bangladeshi operator Grameenphone will launch its 3G network beginning of October, according to local news reports, after it spent $210m on 10MHz of spectrum in the country’s recent 3G auction.

The spectrum, which is part of the 2100MHz band, will enable the roll out of a nationwide 3G network, but the operator will begin to make 3G services available to areas in the capital city Dhaka and Chittagong in October and will be extended to the rest of Dhaka district, Narayanganj and Gazipur in November, according to local news site bdnews24.

State-owned Teletalk began 3G operations on an experimental basis last year, and will also pay $210m for 10MHz of spectrum. Three other private companies also paid a price of $105m to win 5MHz of spectrum.

Grameenphone is a joint venture Norwegian operator group Telenor and local firm Grameen Telecom – sister company to Bangladesh’s Grameen Bank.  CTO Tanveer Mohammad said it would be “starting immediately with the ambition to deploy the fastest ever 3G roll-out by a Telenor business unit”.

“There is no doubt that mobile technology is changing the Bangladeshi society in profound ways, and we will continue maintaining high momentum in our ongoing initiatives while preparing for bringing the next generation of mobile services to our customers,” said Grameenphone CEO Vivek Sood.

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