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Category Archives: Bangladesh

LIRNEasia@10 - LIRNEasia is celebrating its 10 year anniversary. Check out our timeline of events

Bangladesh commits suicide in ITU’s broadband ranking

Bangladesh took a giant leap in terms of redefining broadband from 128 Kbps to 1 Mbps at the end of last year. Such politically motivated administrative intervention has, however, failed to improve its abysmal broadband profile in the region. The Broadband Commission, in conjunction with ITU and UNESCO, has published the “State of Broadband 2013: […]

Bangladesh failed to sell 38% of 3G spectrum

Adrenaline didn’t flow in Bangladesh 3G auction today. It could be anything but auction when four bidders show up for four licenses. Bangladesh government has priced US$20 million per Megahertz for 40 MHz of spectrum in 2100 MHz band. It is in addition to 10 MHz spectrum being assigned to state-owned Teletalk. Theoretically, Grameenphone (Telenor), […]

Digitally shy lawmakers of “Digital Bangladesh”

Technology is a catalyst, not an element, of increasing productivity. The desire of improvement is central to all successes, where technology accelerates the rate of achievement. Bangladesh government can truly claim the credit of dramatically improving the child and maternal mortality rates through an efficiently run nationwide scheme of immunization. Political goodwill has been the […]

CAG slams BTRC’s free swapping of Airtel’s spectrum

It has a bit of background. Warid Telecom of Abu Dhabi had acquired the 6th mobile operating license in Bangladesh, through open auction at US$ 50 million in 2005. The license was bundled with 15 MHz. spectrum in 1800 MHz. band. Therefore, Warid paid $3.3 million per MHz. for the spectrum. In 2008, the regulator […]

Regulation is an infrastructure too

Yury Sokolov is the vice-president of Rusatom Overseas, a state-owned Russian nuclear energy outfit. Bangladesh has planned for a nuclear reactor to produce commercial power with Rusatom’s help. Mr. Sokolov underscores the development of skilled manpower, management system and relevant laws prior to building the reactor. His emphasize on building proper infrastructure is striking. By […]

NTT swings samurai and bows out of Bangladesh

WEF 2013

NTT Docomo has shrunk its shareholding, from 30% to 8%, in Robi Axiata – the third largest operator by subscriber in Bangladesh. The Japanese heavyweight has unleashed its fury at the regulatory malfunctions and questioned the government’s credibility. Press release of Robi Axiata on NTT’s exit is the most caustic one in Bangladesh’s telecoms history. […]

Big brother to watch social media in Bangladesh

Bangladesh has ceremoniously celebrated the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day on May 17. The day also marked eight months of shutting down of YouTube in the country. Now the authorities have decided to take over the command control of social media. Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu at a media call on the same day […]

BTRC has arbitrarily bagged $31m (so far)

While renewing the 2G mobile licenses in November 2011, the authorities had mandated that each mobile operator pays 1% of gross revenue to Social Obligation Fund (SOF). It is just a version of Universal Service Fund. By far four out of six operators have paid Tk. 2.4 billion (US$31 million) to Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission, […]

Court decides if BTRC is naïve or A2I is crook

Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) and Access to Information (A2I) project, being blessed by the Prime Minister’s Office, are blaming each other on the controversial allocation of 800 MHz spectrum to Ollo. BTRC said, according to a report of Dhaka Tribune: “I have gone through the matter and found that there were no irregularity on […]

Thimpu ascends with LTE and Dhaka slips with 3G

Bhutan Telecom is launching Long Term Evolution (LTE) service in two locations of its capital city Thimpu. Coverage of this 1800 MHz network will encompass a radius of up to 1km, promising a theoretical downlink speed of up to 40Mbps. Cellular News reports. Meanwhile, the fate of 3G in Bangladesh looks as gloomy as its […]

Renesys presents resilience of Internet in Bangladesh

Bangladesh is connected with the world through only one submarine cable system (SEA-ME-WE4). Nearly four months back, Douglas Madory of Renesys Corporation has analyzed the significance of terrestrial cables for the backup of Internet. He wrote: The Internet of Bangladesh has been connected to the world by a single submarine cable, Sea-Me-We 4 (SMW4), since […]

Policy & regulatory actions to help achieve Digital Bangladesh

Today I delivered the keynote at well attended workshop on how the Telecom Sector could contribute to Digital Bangladesh. It was organized by the Bangladesh Enterprise Institute. Attendees included the Ministers of Post and Telecom, ICT and Information. The Chair of BTRC and the Secretary of the Ministry of ICT, a key actor in Bangladesh’s […]

Graphic evidence of consequences of not paying attention to redundancy: Bangladesh’s international connectivity

LIRNEasia and its people have been intimately involved in the spurts and starts of the policy discussion on Bangladesh’s international connectivity. We were early in pointing to the need for an additional cable, pointing to the multiple vulnerabilities created by the single undersea cable controlled by the government-owned BTCL and the non-ring architecture of the […]

BTRC keeps BTCL above the law

The decline of telecoms tariff has been a universal trend. State-owned BTCL has, however, decided to double the monthly line rent and increase the call charges across the board. And they did it without giving a damn to the regulator. The usually rowdy BTRC is unusually calm about BTCL’s blatant noncompliance: The (BTRC) officials said […]

Mixed messages from Bangladesh regulator

For too long the government of Bangladesh has hesitated to accept the fact that the only realistic way a majority of its people can be connected to the Internet is over wireless media and has tended to treat the mobile industry as a cash cow to be taxed in order to fund Digital Bangladesh and […]

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