4G in Bangladesh finally a reality

Staff Correspondent
Thursday, March 8th, 2018


February 19 marked the day when Bangladesh finally commenced its journey in the fastest digital connectivity world with the launching on fourth-generation (4G) mobile internet. Grameenphone, Robi, and Banglalink have started 4G service in selected areas immediately after receiving the licence for 4G internet.


After the launch of 4G service, the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) would issue a directive on the quality of service where the minimum speed for the service would be set at 7 Mbps and the regulator would be tough on ensuring quality, said Shahjahan Mahmood, chairman of the BTRC. The chairman claimed that the 4G service would be much better than that of the neighbouring countries even though they had adopted 4G earlier. For enjoying 4G, customers’ devices need to be 4G enabled and before that they also need to replace their SIM cards with a 4G-enabled one.


4G for newbies


4G succeeds the third generation (3G) standards and provides ultra-broadband Internet access, which opens the door to high-definition mobile TV, video conferencing and cloud computing. Initial 4G candidates include the Mobile WiMax standard and Long Term Evolution (LTE), although some debate exists as to whether these systems qualify under official standards.


On the surface, 4G technology is yet another step forward in terms of performance. Users will experience browsing speeds comparable to Wi-Fi networks, and with so much available bandwidth, they will be able to take advantage of cutting-edge tablet and smartphone features that would bog down lesser networks. Older-generation networks are not obsolete, but 4G is the pinnacle of mobile performance in the current market. Whether you are looking for increased browsing speeds, higher video-call quality or clear mobile TV signals, 4G will deliver the best performance in any circumstance.

Pros and cons


A more complex answer is that a 4G wireless network is a pure data connection: that is, it is an end-to-end Internet Protocol connection. This provides some real advantages, but also some disadvantages. On the one hand, a smartphone simply becomes another data device whose native mode is as an Internet-enabled terminal and that can be managed as such.


On the other hand, services such as voice require some additional machinations to support effectively. Since voice is not intrinsically data-centric and must be converted to data before it can be transferred, voice-capable LTE handsets have been slow in coming.


Delayed for iPhone users?


Many iPhone users are complaining that they are not yet being able to enjoy the experience of 4G/LTE mobile phone services. Mobile phone network operators (MNOs) in the country has said the US tech giant is yet to do ‘carrier setting update’ in its devices for Bangladesh to offer 4G/LTE service. Robi head of regulatory affairs Shahed Alam told reporters that it will take one month or more to bring the carrier setting update after informing Apple about getting 4G/LTE license.


The road ahead


Leading IT operators and IT businessmen have expressed their firm opinion that Bangladesh would see an expeditious growth with the introduction of the 4G telecommunication service in the fields of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and e-commerce. They said high speed internet would pave the way for expanding different types of services that would also propel the “digital Bangladesh” campaign within 2021 under the guidance of the present government.


e-Commerce Association of Bangladesh (e-CAB) President Razib Ahmed said 4G service will directly benefit the people who are working with e-commerce. “We didn’t invest any, but the government has ensured infrastructure especially internet for us and we are getting the benefit directly, and 4G will bolster our sector,” he added.


Association of Mobile Telecom Operators of Bangladesh (AMTOB) Secretary General T I M Nurul Kabir told Dhaka Courier that significant growth in mobile users, internet penetration, data usage and handset penetration have been contributing to the overall economy of the country. Kobir also said it has created many sub-subsectors too, such as content providers, local handset manufacturing sectors, value added services, and innovative transport services such as Uber or Pathao.

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