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GP starts trial in all divisional cities




Grameenphone, GP conducted a trial run of a 5G network in all divisional cities of the country on Thursday, paving the way for taking digital connectivity to the next level.

Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (BTRC) Chairman Shyam Sunder Sikder inaugurated the test run at GPHouse.

In partnership with Huawei and ZTE technology, GP activated the 5G network.

Earlier on 26 July, Grameenphone conducted the trial run for 5G for the first time in the country with some use cases in Dhaka and Chattogram. In its continuation, the telecom operator will now be rolling out 5G in eight divisional cities across the country for people to experience 5G connectivity.

In the trial run, 5G Internet speed reached 600 Mbps in Sylhet and Khulna, which is 10 times higher than that of 4G, while the speed in Dhaka was recorded at 1000 Mbps. Grameenphone officials expressed satisfaction with such speed.

Earlier on 12 December last year, state-owned mobile phone operator Teletalk first introduced the 5G network in six places in the country on an experimental basis.

Robi Axiata Limited was the first telecom company to conduct a 5G trial in the country in 2018.

In a keynote, Grameenphone Chief Executive Officer Yasir Azman, said, “Empowering societies and creating opportunities for all through democratizing the power of technology is at the core of Grameenphone. With the imminent 4IR, we believe it is our responsibility to accelerate the ongoing digitalization and harness the opportunities by pioneering the revolution to enable the nation to achieve its vision of becoming a ‘Smart Bangladesh’.”

Being the first to spearhead the eras of connectivity from 2G, 3G, 4G to now 5G, they envision being the connectivity partner to transform Bangladesh with high-speed connectivity and advanced industrial solutions, he also said.

“Being a part of the Telenor fraternity, Grameenphone has the technical know-how and global use cases which can be tailored for our local market,” he noted, requesting all to collaborate to address the existing challenges and formulate industry-friendly policy framework that will help in the mass adoption of the 5G network.

In March this year, Grameenphone acquired 60MHz of radio frequency at the auction on 2.6GHz band for Tk3,360 crore. It currently holds the top position with 107.4MHz radio frequency.

Yasir Azman said it is not so easy to roll out 5G because an expansion of technology lies with it. “Nevertheless, we are ready to do all the expansion work,” he pointed out.

He also said, “There are many problems with our network. It is our duty to resolve them. We always want to provide customers with good services.”

BTRC Chairman Shyam Sunder Sikder at the event said 5G will be more effective in enhancing digital connectivity in the fourth industrial revolution.

Stating that currently, 60 countries across the world have completed trial runs of the 5G network, he said, if this technology is launched successfully here, Bangladesh will be at the forefront of this revolution.

“The condition of our 4G network is very poor. People are pointing the finger at us for this. So, we all have to work together so that customers do not complain about whatever services the operators provide,” Shyam Sunder Sikder continued.

Talking about the ban on sales of new GP SIM cards, he said the BTRC has found GP’s failure to provide quality services to customers from its own report. “We will lift the ban if they ensure the quality of voice calls and Internet services,” he added.


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BIDA, LABCCI signed MoU to boost trade and investment




LABCCi: The Latin America-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) to boost trade and investment between Bangladesh and Latin America.

Bida Executive Chairman (Senior Secretary) Lokman Hossain Miah attended as the chief guest at the MoU signing ceremony held at the Bida office in the capital on Wednesday (15 March).

LABCCI President Md Anwar Shawkat Afser and Bida Marketing and Communication Executive Member (Additional Secretary) Md Matiur Rahman signed the MoU on behalf of their respective sides.

At the ceremony, the Brazilian Embassy in Dhaka Commercial Specialist Nahid Ferdousi assured that Brazil is very much interested in tying up with Bangladesh in all aspects.

Md Anwar Shawkat Afser said that a new era has been started by the MoU signing ceremony.

“LABCCI now got the affiliation from the Prime Minister’s Office of Bangladesh, Bida. Now business societies from Latin American countries may get more confidence to invest and trade in Bangladesh through the collaboration of LABCCI,” he said.

The LABCCI president highlighted the upcoming event “Bangladesh Investment B2B (Business to Business) Event in Latin America 2023” which will be jointly organised by Bida, DBCCI and LABCCI in the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Argentina and Brazil on 6-17 March 2023.

Representatives from the ministries of foreign affairs and commerce, Bida, Beza, Hi-Tech Park Authority and high-profile Bangladeshi and European businessmen will participate in the mega event.

Salman Fazlur Rahman, private industry and investment advisor to the prime minister, will lead the delegation in the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Argentina and Brazil.

Bida Executive Chairman Lokman Hossain Miah assured full support for this delegation, saying that the present government led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina created a friendly environment for businessmen as EPZs will provide a safe zone for foreign investors in Bangladesh.

In the last 15 years, Bangladesh’s economy has changed dramatically. People’s incomes have increased and their lives have improved. By 2027, another 3.5 million people will enter the middle class, he added.

“Bangladesh is not only a huge domestic market of 17 crore people, but with proper investment, the consumer market of about 300 crores in South Asia including India and China can be accessed from here,” said the Bida executive chairman, adding that Bangladesh is one of the top safe investment destinations in the world.

He appreciated the LABCCI board of directors for their initiative to attract FDI from the Latin America region as well as from Europe.

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Meta increases Zuckerberg’s security allowance by $4 million




Meta Platforms Inc (META.O) said on Wednesday (February 15) it had increased the security allowance given to Chief Executive and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg and his family by $4 million to $14 million.

“This increased allowance, together with the costs of Zuckerberg’s existing overall security program, are appropriate and necessary under the circumstances,” Meta said in a filing.

The move comes at a time when the owner of social media platforms Facebook and Instagram has cut thousands of jobs and slashed spending plans for a period that Zuckerberg has called the “Year of Efficiency.”


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BD among the top 3 countries for active users’ growth on Facebook




Bangladesh is among the top 3 countries contributing to active users growth for Facebook as of December 31, last year, social media major Meta said in a regulatory filing.

“Users in India, the Philippines and Bangladesh represented the top three sources of growth in DAUs during December 2022, relative to the same period in 2021,” Meta said.

The company has reported a 4 percent increase in worldwide daily active users (DAUs) to two billion on average during December 2022 from 1.93 billion during December 2021.

The company reiterated the risk to its operation in India due to the proposed data protection framework.

The company defines a daily active user as a registered and logged-in Facebook user who visited Facebook through its website or a mobile device, or used the Messenger application (and is also a registered Facebook user), on a given day.

The monthly active users (MAUs) as of December 31, 2022, increased by 2 percent to 2.96 billion from December 31, 2021.

India stood among the top three contributors in terms of monthly active users too.

“Users in India, Nigeria, and Bangladesh represented the top three sources of growth in 2022, relative to the same period in 2021,” Meta said.

The company reiterated the risk to its operation in India due to the proposed data protection legal framework in India.

“In addition, some countries, such as India and Turkey, are considering or have passed legislation implementing data protection requirements or requiring local storage and processing of data or similar requirements that could increase the cost and complexity of delivering our services, cause us to cease the offering of our products and services in certain countries, or result in fines or other penalties,” the filing dated February 1 said.

Meta has also cautioned investors that it could also face fines, orders restricting or blocking services in particular geographies, or other government-imposed remedies as a result of content hosted on its services citing examples of India and Germany.

“For example, legislation in Germany and India has resulted in the past, and may result in the future, in the imposition of fines or other penalties for failure to comply with certain content removal, law enforcement cooperation, and disclosure obligations,” the filing said.

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