3 years ago

Bangladesh to launch 5G services this year, Joy says

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The government of Bangladesh plans to launch fifth-generation (5G) mobile network services on a trial basis at the end of this year.

Prime Minister's Information and Communication Technology Affairs Adviser Sajeeb Wazed Joy revealed the plan at a business roundtable in New York, according to a BSS report published on Wednesday.

The government is pledge-bound to provide broadband internet to the last mile, he said, adding Bangladesh doesn't have a shortage of capacity and bandwidth.

"We have plenty of capacity and plenty of fibres (optical fibre)," he said, noting that the bottleneck being faced is the last mile connection.

Joy observed that people (users in the last mile) are not connected with the internet through fixed lines rather they use mobile internet.

He continued, "So, the challenges we face is spectrum incapacity. Because of our population density, we need a lot of spectrum and just shared additional spectrum in the auction, and we are in the process of freeing more spectrum for the mobile operators."

Mentioning that they've launched 4G a few years ago, he said ". . . we are hoping that the additional spectrum will allow the mobile operators to take 4G to the rural areas (last mile)."

He went on saying, "With this together (4G and 5G) we are trying to solve the last mile problem . . . as there is plenty of capacity and fibre within the country and connecting the outside."

US-Bangladesh Business Council organised the business roundtable on Tuesday in honour of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who is now in New York to attend the 76th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

The premier virtually joined the roundtable, titled "Bangladesh Forward: The New Frontier for Growth", from Lotte New York Palace in New York on Tuesday.

Highlighting the country's mobile connection coverage, the ICT Adviser said in the last two years, they've launched online identity (KYC) and just a few weeks ago, introduced another service that enables instant payment to any bank account in Bangladesh.

Until now (before the launch of this service) it took up to two days for payment, he added. 

Joy urged the participants at the roundtable to look into these, saying, "You can't miss these services coming online. Your system can connect to them."

He said they are also in the process of piloting a few other digital payment systems as well and one is IDPP that allows the MFS to interconnect in the country.  

"So, these are services we are in the process of launching and happy to work with you on connecting to these and any other ideas you may have," he added.

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