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 democratising 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.