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.
Unilever Bangladesh Receives Award for Outstanding Contribution to Environment
Unilever Bangladesh Limited (UBL) has been honored with the “Bangladesh Sustainability Excellence Awards” in recognition of its remarkable contributions in the Environment category. The accolade, bestowed by The Daily Star and CSR Window Bangladesh, acknowledged the exemplary efforts of Unilever and other corporate entities and individuals for their impactful projects benefitting society and the environment.
Syed Manzur Elahi, Chairman of Apex Group and Chief Guest at the event, presented the award to Shamima Akhter, Director of Corporate Affairs, Partnerships and Communications, UBL, along with Ruhul Quddus, Supply Chain Director, and Sumaiya Tabassum Ahmed, Manager of Sustainability, Partnerships, and Communications at UBL.
UBL’s plastic circularity initiative has received acclaim for establishing a circular model for plastic waste, enhancing the informal value chain, improving livelihoods, and engaging the community. The project, in partnership with Chattogram City Corporation and Young Power in Social Action (YPSA), has facilitated the collection of 10,000 tons of plastic waste since 2022, benefiting over 2850 waste workers and reaching more than 1 million people through awareness campaigns across all 41 wards of the city. UBL, through this initiative, manages 10% of Chattogram City Corporation’s plastic waste.
Aligned with Unilever’s global sustainability framework—the Unilever Compass—the company has set clear strategic goals for its Climate Transition Action Plan, aiming for zero emissions in its operations by 2030 and net-zero emissions across its value chain by 2039. Unilever is transitioning to renewable energy, exploring low-carbon ingredients, expanding its plant-based product range, and developing fossil-fuel-free cleaning and laundry products. Globally, Unilever is actively working to reduce the environmental impact of its products, including plastic waste management.
Bengal Group of Industries, BRAC Forge Partnership to Boost Graduate Employability
On the 27th of November, 2023, Bengal Group of Industries, a distinguished conglomerate in Bangladesh, and BRAC, one of the world’s largest non-governmental development organizations, formalized a strategic alliance through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at Bengal House. The primary objective of this MOU is to foster collaboration in the development and employment opportunities for fresh graduates.
This collaborative initiative signifies a significant stride in the realms of educational and professional advancement. The partnership endeavors to bridge the divide between academia and industry, ensuring that graduates are not only academically proficient but also possess the practical skills demanded by the ever-evolving job market.
The terms of the MOU outline that Bengal Group of Industries, with its diverse business portfolio, will share invaluable insights into industry trends, job market requirements, and potential employment prospects for graduates. Meanwhile, BRAC, leveraging its expertise in education, training, and development, will focus on grooming and preparing graduates for the challenges of the professional world.
The signing ceremony was executed by Hasan Taiab Imam, Group Head-HR of Bengal Group of Industries, and Md. Al Imran, Head of Operations for BRAC Skills Development Programme. Taiab expressed enthusiasm about the collaboration, emphasizing the joint effort’s aim to equip graduates with the skills demanded by today’s dynamic business environment.
“We are excited about this collaboration with Bengal Group of Industries,” said Imran. “This partnership reflects our joint commitment to empowering young talents with the necessary skills and knowledge to thrive in the competitive job market.”
The ceremony was attended by representatives from both organizations, including Barrister Mahbubur Rahman, Chief Administrative Officer, Md. Hasanuzzaman, Lead HR Operations, Tasnim Fatema Rahman, Lead People, OD, ER & Culture, Mst. Sohel Saedatun Easmin, Lead Learning & Development, Mahfuzul Haq, Asst. Manager-HRD from Bengal Group of Industries and Debangshu Ghosh, Operations Manager- BRAC Skills Development Program, Mosabbir Reza, Employment Officer- BRAC Skills Development Program from BRAC. Barrister Rahman from Bengal, said,” The event served as a platform for dialogue on future initiatives and collaborative projects that will be undertaken to achieve the shared goals of the partnership.”
This alliance echoes the broader commitment of both Bengal Group of Industries and BRAC to contribute to the socio-economic development of the region by cultivating a skilled and empowered workforce.
Bangladesh Finance Initiates ‘Green Deposit’ for Sustainable Savings
Bangladesh Finance has launched a groundbreaking financial product called the ‘Green Deposit’ as part of its commitment to steering the country towards a sustainable economy. The Chairman, Manwar Hossain, and the Managing Director and CEO, Md. Kyser Hamid, officially introduced the product at an event hosted by Bangladesh Finance at the Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Motijheel on Thursday evening, November 16, 2023.
The Chairman highlighted the significance of the ‘Green Deposit,’ emphasizing its role as an innovative initiative designed to direct customers’ savings toward social responsibility. The primary focus is on supporting initiatives related to sustainable development, providing opportunities for emerging entrepreneurs, especially women, and contributing to the creation of not only economically self-reliant communities but also a sustainable and environmentally friendly world.
The Managing Director and CEO further underscored the product’s importance, stating that the objective is to leave a habitable world for future generations. By preventing the adverse effects of natural calamities, particularly those related to the greenhouse effect, it becomes possible to protect the environment. In alignment with government and Bangladesh Bank initiatives aimed at achieving net-zero carbon emissions, Bangladesh Finance has introduced the 100% eco-friendly financial product, the “Bangladesh Finance Green Deposit.”
The ‘Green Deposit’ establishes a unique platform where deposits are exclusively tied to Green Financing accounts. Going beyond a conventional account, this platform empowers customers to contribute actively to the country’s sustainable development, allowing them to be recognized in terms of their carbon footprint. It serves as a milestone towards building a socially responsible and environmentally sustainable society, contributing to the vision of a Green Bangladesh with a robust and eco-friendly economy. Officials from Bangladesh Finance were present at the event to mark this significant initiative.
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