Grameenphone Ltd. announced yesterday to bring their entire 10,000 existing base stations across Bangladesh under 3G services by June 2016. Grameenphone has converted more than 5,500 stations to 3G since the service was introduced in late 2013. Mr. Rajeev Sethi, CEO, Grameenphone made the announcement at a local hotel in the presence of Telenor Group CEO, Mr. Sigve Brekke.
Highlighting the network growth in 2015, the Grameenphone CEO said that 3,401 3G stations were added to the network in 2015 taking GP’s total 3G sites across Bangladesh to 5,831 at the close of the year. “We have made significant investment in 2015 and it is our intention to continue on with this momentum and add nearly 1700 more 3G sites by the end of the first quarter of this year,” Sethi said. “The addition will reach 3G services to nearly 90% of its subscriber base in that time,” he added.
Speaking at the announcement program, Telenor Group CEO, Mr. Sigve Brekke, pointed out that “Grameenphone is on a transformation journey from a voice communications company to a digital services provider. As part of this transformation we have not only seen significant network investments but also, with active support from Telenor, introduction of new digital content and rich e-services in education, agriculture and health that have already demonstrated efficiency and progress among user beneficiaries.”
Suggesting that Grameenphone’s network expansion has been all inclusive, Sethi stressed that the GP network ambition was not just about reach but also about customer experience on GP’s superior network. “Our ambition from the start was to ensure the best customer experience on our network, the Grameenphoen CEO said, “Which is why we had invested in 10MHz of 3G spectrum from the onset. This initial investment has allowed us to continue to lead the industry with HD Voice and Digital Clarity and double speed HSPA for excellent user experience in voice and data services.”
Grameenphone's 3G network has already been expanded across 481 upazillas in the country. The network expansion involved adding new 3G sites as well as conversion of thousands of 2G sites to 3G sites and upgradation of existing 2G sites to further enhance 2G services for general customers.
While cumulative audited investment figures are unavailable for public disclosure, GP has invested BDT 14.7 billion up until the third quarter of 2015 to rollout 3G sites and in capacity enhancement. Cumulative audited figures for 2014 indicate that the company had invested BDT 15.2 billion (BDT 1,520 crores) that year and had already established 2,430 3G sites in that period.