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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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PM’s China Visit: Nagad Signs Pact with Huawei



NAGAD Signs Pact with Huawei

Bangladesh has taken a significant step towards enhancing its digital financial services as NAGAD Limited and Huawei Technologies signed a landmark agreement. The deal aims to revolutionize the country’s digital transaction experience by integrating world-class smart transaction technologies through NAGAD’s digital banking and mobile financial services.

The agreement, signed on Tuesday (July 9) at Beijing’s Shangri-La Hotel in the presence of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, marks a pivotal moment for Bangladesh’s digital economy. It underscores the commitment to bolstering digital banking capabilities, ensuring that customers of NAGAD can enjoy seamless international transactions anytime, anywhere.

Representing NAGAD, the agreement was endorsed by its founder and CEO, Tanvir A. Mishuk. Among the dignitaries present were Finance Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali, Foreign Minister Dr. A.K. Abdul Momen, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Industry and Investment Affairs Salman F Rahman, State Minister for Posts, Telecommunications, and Information Technology Junaid Ahmed Palak, and NAGAD’s Chairman Farid Khan.

Huawei’s South Asia Region President and CEO Pan Yunfei signed the agreement on behalf of Huawei. Several senior officials from the Chinese government were also in attendance, highlighting China’s support for Bangladesh’s economic growth and digital inclusion efforts.

Chairman of NAGAD Digital Bank, Farid Khan, commented on the significance of the agreement, stating that over the past five years, Bangladesh has seen a profound transformation in its financial landscape. Now, with global collaboration on the horizon, NAGAD and Huawei aim to propel Bangladesh towards a smarter future. NAGAD’s digital banking initiative will play a pivotal role in achieving a Smart Bangladesh, fostering significant advancements in the country’s economic framework.

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Grameenphone Faces Tk 300 Crore Fine for Call Drop Issues



The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has issued a show cause notice to Grameenphone due to an excessive number of call drops. The telecom operator could face a fine of up to Tk 300 crore if it fails to provide a satisfactory explanation.

The notice was issued on July 1.

Junaid Ahmed Palak, the State Minister for Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology, informed journalists of this development after inaugurating the GPT platform ‘G-Brain’ at the ICT Tower in Agargaon, Dhaka, on Wednesday afternoon.

“We have issued an initial show cause notice to Grameenphone. Further analysis is underway. If they can provide a valid explanation, they may be pardoned as they were last time. However, if they fail to justify their actions properly, BTRC can impose fines ranging from Tk 100 crore to Tk 300 crore,” stated Palak.

He added, “We had asked for explanations from four mobile network operators (MNOs) regarding our test drive on July 30.”

The BTRC conducts ‘Quality of Service (QoS) Drive Tests’ to verify the service quality of mobile phone operators, checking voice calls, data, and network coverage.

Engineer Md. Mahiuddin Ahmed, Chairman of BTRC, mentioned that voice and data services on Grameenphone’s network did not meet the expected standards in the drive test. The BTRC is investigating the reasons behind this shortfall.

“If any operator fails to maintain the expected service quality, BTRC will take action. Customers should not suffer any inconvenience,” emphasized the BTRC Chairman.

According to the Quality of Service (QoS) guidelines, there is a provision for up to 2% call drops for voice calls. For call setups, BTRC has set a specific time limit of seven seconds. Additionally, a minimum download speed of 7 Mbps is required for 4G technology.

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Inspira Hosts MSME Digital Security & Data Protection Dialogue



Inspira Hosts MSME Digital Security & Data Protection Dialogue

Inspira Hosts Policy Dialogue on MSME Digital Security and Data Protection

Dhaka, June 9, 2024 – Inspira, in collaboration with USAID, DAI, and DCCP, successfully organized a Policy Dialogue addressing the digital security and data protection challenges faced by MSMEs. The event gathered industry leaders and government officials to deliberate on these critical issues.

Md Ziaul Haque Bhuiyan, Chief of Staff of ShopUp and former President of JCI Bangladesh, shared valuable insights during the dialogue. The event was graced by Md Shamsul Arefin, Secretary of the ICT Division, as the Chief Guest. Other notable attendees included Salahuddin Mahmud from the SME Foundation, Khalilur Rahman, Director General of BTRC, Abu Saed Kamruzzaman, Director General of NCSA, and Samira Zuberi Himika, Chairperson of Inspira.

Key Points Discussed:

Restricting Betting Services:

  • Issue: Online betting services are causing financial losses for many individuals.
  • Discussion: Implementing stricter regulations to limit access and protect users from financial harm.


Regulation of Grey Channel Devices:

  • Issue: Unauthorized smartphones and laptops with unmonitored apps are entering the market.
  • Discussion: Enhancing regulatory oversight to ensure visibility and security of imported electronic devices.


Data Storage Concerns with CCTV Cameras and VTS:

  • Issue: Sensitive data from CCTV cameras and Vehicle Tracking Systems is being stored overseas.
  • Discussion: Expanding BTRC’s regulatory scope to include these devices and ensure data security.


Digital Security Education:

  • Issue: There is a lack of awareness and education on digital security and data protection.
  • Discussion: Integrating these topics into the national education curriculum and enhancing public awareness through eCAB, BASIS, and media campaigns.


Government Officials Using Insecure Email:

  • Issue: The use of Gmail by government officials poses security risks.
  • Discussion: Promoting the use of secure, government-approved email services for official communication.


OTP Awareness Challenges:

  • Issue: Misunderstandings about OTP security are affecting delivery services.
  • Discussion: Educating the public on proper OTP usage to enhance security and service efficiency.


Policy on Digital Page Ownership:

  • Issue: There is a lack of clear policies on digital page ownership and management.
  • Discussion: Developing policies to protect content creators and regulate digital page ownership.


The Policy Dialogue underscored the necessity for comprehensive strategies and collaborative efforts to bolster digital security and data protection for MSMEs in Bangladesh. By addressing these issues, the event aimed to create a safer and more secure digital environment for businesses and individuals alike.

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