3G and WiMAX Technology in Bangladesh!

Bangladeshi mobile phone users will be able to enjoy the 3G (3rd Generation) and WiMAX (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access) technology by June 2009. Three companies, Bangla Lion Communications, Brac Bdmail Network Ltd and Aguri Wireless Broadband Bangladesh Ltd, have already won licenses to operate WiMAX or Broadband Wireless Access in Bangladesh. But only one firm Aguri Wireless Broadband Bangladesh Ltd, received the license on payment of the required fee of Tk 215 crore in time. Other two firms failed to pay the fee because of world wide financial crisis. Although one firm, BRAC Bdmail has already declined the license.

Bangladesh telecom regulator (BTRC) announced earlier that it would issue 3G licenses by March 2009 when WiMax would be ready for launch. But it was delayed for reviewing the whole licensing procedure. BTRC is now thinking of lowering the licensing fees. Experts said licensing the 2100 MHz spectrum for 3G services would enable Bangladesh operators to launch mobile broadband services, with which customers can get fast and easy access to the internet and other online services.

The GSM signal covers about 95 percent of Bangladesh's area, but the mobile broadband market remains untapped. If mobile broadband can be provided at affordable costs, the number of subscribers of 47 million will reach 70 million by 2011.

Bangladesh has the world's lowest internet usage rate, having less than 1 percent internet penetration. The whole broadband market is dominated by local ISPs.

Many 3G enable mobile sets are already in use in Bangladesh. So the mobile operators could find it easy to launch the 3G technology among some prospective users. 3G and WiMax could bring revolution in already booming mobile telecom industry in Bangladesh.

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