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Robi-Ericsson ready to provide 4G service in Dhaka

Mobile phone operator Robi and Ericsson jointly ran the trial of 4G and LTE (Long Term Evolution) technology in Dhaka and experienced high-speed mobile broadband of 90 Mbps and above, said a press release today.

The trial was conducted to demonstrate Robi’s readiness for introducing 4G services in the country.

Ericsson, a Sweden-based company, and Robi are going to run similar trials in other cities of Bangladesh shortly, reads the release.

This is also a milestone-achievement for Ericsson Bangladesh and a sign of the growing readiness of the country’s telecom market to adopt LTE technology.

Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) will award the 4G licences shortly; it has already finalised the proposed guideline for the service.

In the draft guideline, the BTRC has proposed Tk 15 crore as licence fees for 15 years and another Tk 7.5 crore as annual fees. All existing 3G operators will be eligible for 4G licences.

Robi and Ericsson’s trial was performed using the latest commercial end-user device and combined carrier of 1800 MHz and 2100 MHz bands.

In addition to ensure readiness for the launch of 4G services, the trials are being conducted to demonstrate, how this technology can facilitate the end user in experiencing broadband applications such as High Definition (HD) TV and video conferencing services.

“Although there are some barriers to the adoption of 4G/LTE technology such as low penetration of compatible smartphones, we recognize and appreciate our customers’ growing demand for high speed internet which can only be served using this technology,” said Mahtab Uddin Ahmed, managing director and CEO of Robi Axiata.

He also said, “Unfortunately, we feel the licensing framework proposed by the government make the business case for 4G unviable in Bangladesh.”

However, Robi is very keen on introducing this technology in our telecom market considering the customers’ interest.

According to the Ericsson Mobility Report South East Asia and Oceania, June 2016, numbers of smartphone subscriptions in Bangladesh will more than double from 2015 to 2021. This growth will power the need for high speed mobile download, upload and multiple high-bandwidth mobile applications, which is not possible with current mobile broadband speeds.

Source: Daily Star, Dhaka, Bangladesh

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