Grameenphone, Robi launch 3G networks

Dylan Bushell-Embling
30 Sep 2013

Bangladeshi mobile operators Grameenphone and Robi Axiata both launched 3G networks over the weekend.

Market leader Grameenphone used the launch to announce a target of achieving national 3G coverage by next April, Reutersreported.

Grameenphone, which is 55.8% owned by Norweigian telecom group Telenor, has a mobile market share of around 44%.

Robi Axiata meanwhile officially launched its 3.5G HSPA network in Dhaka and Chittagong, according to the Financial Express.

While Robi won't be making services commercially available until next month, the company has started demonstrating the network to consumers at a walk-in center in each of the two cities.

The operator is aiming to expand network coverage to at least 40% of its customer base by the end of the year, and to 60% in 2014.

Robi Axiata is a joint venture 70% owned by Malaysia's Axiata Group and 30% by Japan's NTT DoCoMo.

Grameenphone, Robi, Airtel Bangladesh and Banglalink all secured spectrum during a 3G auction that concluded this month. Robi paid $105 million for 5 MHz of spectrum, while Grameenphone paid $210 million for a 10 MHz block.

Another auction winner, Airtel Bangladesh, also plans to launch commercial services in October. State-owned Teletalk has been offering 3G on a trial basis since last year.

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