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Old February 14th, 2015, 08:18 AM   #1601
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US venture capitalist to invest in local app development

THURSDAY, 12 FEBRUARY 2015 AUTHOR / SOURCE: FAISAL MAHMUD E-mailPrintPDF
To take the country's mobile app development into the fast lane, Invictus US Corporation, a New York based venture capitalist firm is going to organise an app development competition titled 'Innovation Next Generatoin' with prize money of $25,000 in Bangladesh. At the ongoing 'Digital World 2015', the 'Innovation next Generation' has established a booth where it is disseminating information about the competition.
Talking with The Independent, John Messer, president of Invictus US Corporation, said they have created the competition to bring all the mobile app developers of the country to submit the concept or idea of their apps to their corporation.
“We are going to select few winners from those idea or concept list. Then we will finance them to develop their apps and to bring those to the market”, said Messer.
Messer said, in the Digital World, he has observed the technological innovations and advancements going on in the country. All the departments and the ministries of the governments have their stalls in the digital world and they are showcasing their contribution towards achieving the vision of digital Bangladesh, he said. “I think this is fantastic. This probably is the best time to invest in Bangladesh's technological sector”.
When asked what type of apps the competition will prefer, the US based venture capitalist said they want to help the young entrepreneurs in the country and want to take their concepts into the market. “So if we see and app idea which can change certain existing concepts in the market and make it better, we will go for it”.
“It can be the next angry bird or the next whatsapp”.
Messer said US is the biggest mobile app buyer in the world and Bangladesh is one of the large suppliers of those apps. Many US companies are suing customized apps for their office usage which are being developed in Bangladesh.
“The internet has changed everything that we do. You now can hire talented developers at any places in the world to develop your products. As businessmen, we obviously wanted best output with the lowest investment, of course without compromising the quality. Bangladeshi developers perfectly fit into that profile”.
He said, for this South Asian region, the sky is the limit in future. “This region represents 23 per cent population of the whole world but in mobile app world, it represents only 7 per cent. It has the immense opportunity to grow”.
Mohammad Mahdee-Uz-Zaman, director of Mobioapp, country's leading mobile app developer who facilitated the competition with the US venture capitalist firm, told The Independent that this is just a small step towards achieving a big goal.
Mobile apps are among the fastest growing sectors in the software industry and it alone generated at least one third of the total revenue earned by the software sector in the past year in the whole world.
The situation in Bangladesh is no different, he said. Observing the mobile app boom, many software companies here have started developing apps. Especially the freelancers who have their accounts in popular online bidding websites like 'odesk' and 'elance', he added.
“Internet penetration across the globe has been increasing in geometric manner because of mobile internet. So, mobile app is the future. Competition like this will only provide the country's tech savvy youth the much needed impetus to move forward”, said Zaman.
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Old February 14th, 2015, 08:19 AM   #1602
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Mahindra Comviva aims to extend business in Bangladesh

Mahindra Comviva, the global leader in providing mobility solutions, yesterday announced that the company is focusing on extending its footprint in the Bangladesh market through introducing its new customer value management solutions to support mobile network operator’s (MNO’s) data growth strategy, says a press release. Mahindra Comviva is the leader in providing mobility solutions, managed across the world and in Bangladesh. With over 95 per cent market share in the electronic recharge space and 3 deployments for its mobiquity mobile money and banking solutions, the company want to leverage from its experiences working with all the leading MNO’s for over 8 years in Bangladesh and focus on increasing mobile data adoption and consumptions, the statement said.
Amit Sanyal, assistant VP and joint head of consumer value solutions at Mahindra Comviva, said, “Our customer value management offerings will support operators in achieving customer retention and improved customer service goals, promoting spend on network, extending subscribers’ life on the network by offering services that bring greater convenience and deliver timely and relevant promotions.”
Reyad Hasnain, country manager for Bangladesh at Mahindra Comviva, said, “With our growing footprint in Bangladesh, we will continue to help regional operators and financial institutions to achieve bottom line benefits, with solutions that drive operational efficiencies and optimize existing investment.”
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Old February 14th, 2015, 09:12 AM   #1603
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Goldberg unveils new mobile brand
Star Business Desk

Officials of Goldberg pose during the launch of the company's first batch of feature and smartphones at a press meet at The Daily Star Centre yesterday. Photo: Goldberg
Officials of Goldberg pose during the launch of the company's first batch of feature and smartphones at a press meet at The Daily Star Centre yesterday. Photo: Goldberg
Goldberg, a new mobile brand, has brought four feature phones and three smartphones to the Bangladesh market as part of its first collection.
The phones will be available in 51 districts from mid-February, it said in a statement yesterday.
Also, the company will set up 20 customer care centres and make available a wider range of smartphones by April 2015.
Goldberg aims to become a major player in the Bangladeshi mobile devices market with best quality products, it said.
It is targeting the young consumers with good devices at unbeatable prices, Abrar Rahman Khan, chief executive of the company, said. Goldberg is a concern of Khansons Group.
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Old February 15th, 2015, 12:29 AM   #1604
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Originally Posted by jason.kazi View Post
Goldberg unveils new mobile brand
Star Business Desk

Officials of Goldberg pose during the launch of the company's first batch of feature and smartphones at a press meet at The Daily Star Centre yesterday. Photo: Goldberg
Officials of Goldberg pose during the launch of the company's first batch of feature and smartphones at a press meet at The Daily Star Centre yesterday. Photo: Goldberg
Goldberg, a new mobile brand, has brought four feature phones and three smartphones to the Bangladesh market as part of its first collection.
The phones will be available in 51 districts from mid-February, it said in a statement yesterday.
Also, the company will set up 20 customer care centres and make available a wider range of smartphones by April 2015.
Goldberg aims to become a major player in the Bangladeshi mobile devices market with best quality products, it said.
It is targeting the young consumers with good devices at unbeatable prices, Abrar Rahman Khan, chief executive of the company, said. Goldberg is a concern of Khansons Group.
I wonder why they chose the name Goldberg.
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Old February 15th, 2015, 06:52 PM   #1605
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I wonder why they chose the name Goldberg.
Maybe they are wrestling fans haha?
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Old April 6th, 2015, 07:43 AM   #1606
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Hi-tech data centre gets go-ahead

Star Business Report
The cabinet committee on purchase yesterday approved a proposal to set up a national data centre where the government and companies can store their digital information.

The Export-Import Bank of China will bankroll the $154 million project, which will be built on the premises of the Kaliakoir hi-tech park in Gazipur. Once completed, it will be one of the largest data centres in the world.

The negotiated price is however $20 million or 15 percent more than the initial survey carried out in 2012.

In its proposal, the ICT Division said the price went up as the earlier proposal did not include the cost of construction of the building to house the centre.

The issue of setting up a fire-resistant building and ensuring military grade security were also not considered in the earlier cost estimation.

The EXIM Bank of China will provide the loan at 2 percent interest and the repayment period will be for 20 years, with a five-year grace period.

China has nominated state-owned ZTE Holdings Company and ZTE Corporation for setting up the centre.

ZTE Corporation on behalf of the two companies has already conducted a feasibility study for free of cost. The two Chinese companies will set up the centre in a direct purchase method.

Under the project, a high performance, well-structured and well-protected four-tier data centre will be established, which the government and private companies, including foreign multinationals, can use to store data.

Bangladesh Computer Council has already set up a tier-3 data centre to advance the government's Digital Bangladesh Vision. The government says the need for a larger centre has already been created because of the proliferation of online services across the country in the last few years.

The tier ranking for data centres relies on the service of quality and availability. A tier-4 data centre is composed of multiple active power and cooling distribution paths, has redundant components, and is fault-tolerant, providing 99.995 percent availability.

The cabinet purchase committee also approved a proposal to buy 1.5 lakh tonnes of wheat, instead of 2.5 lakh tonnes as agreed earlier, from Ukraine under a government-to-government arrangement for $261 a tonne.

The committee also gave the go-ahead to two separate proposals to buy a total of 1 lakh tonnes of wheat from Glencore Grain.
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Old May 15th, 2015, 12:45 AM   #1607
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Bangladesh aims to link with second submarine cable by next year
Staff Correspondent

Aiming to connect Bangladesh with a second submarine cable by the end of next year, a project proposal involving Tk 660.64 crore is to be placed today before the Executive Committee of National Economic Council (Ecnec) for approval.

Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company Ltd (BSCCL), tasked with installing the second submarine cable connection, plans to take a loan of $44 million (Tk 352 crore) from the Islamic Development Bank for implementing the project.

But for that, the state-run company needs permission from the Ecnec, the highest authority for approving development projects.

Of the remaining amount for the project, the government will provide Tk 166 core and the BSCCL Tk 142.64 crore.

Once the country gets its second connection, it will obtain bandwidth of more than 1,300 gigabits per second (Gbps) in addition to 200 Gbps bandwidth from the existing SEA-ME-WE-4 connection, BSCCL Managing Director Monwar Hossain told this correspondent citing a BSCCL calculation.

The country got its first submarine cable connection -- SEA-ME-WE-4 -- in 2006.

The BSCCL signed a deal with SEA-ME-WE-5, a 14-nation consortium, in March last year to get a second connection, and got approval from the cabinet committee on economic affairs in April this year.

“The project is underway but we need the government's approval for getting the loan from the IDB,” said Monwar.

The second connection would allow Bangladesh to stay online always and start full-fledged international bandwidth trade, he said.

“We need redundancy and this cable can ensure redundancy for us,” he added.

According to project documents, if there is a cut in the existing submarine cable line, it needs seven to 10 days for repair. This means Bangladesh needs redundancy from another connection.

“SEA-ME-WE-4 already passed more than half of its lifespan and we need to connect with another cable before 2025,” said Monwar.

At present, India has eight connections, Pakistan four and Sri Lanka three.

BSCCL Officials said the second submarine cable installation is likely to be completed by next year, and the landing station in Bangladesh will be at Kuakata in Patuakhali.

Half of the work at Kuakata has already been completed, they added.

According to the project proposal, the country requires a big volume of bandwidth with high speed following the launch of 3G data services. Subscribers are waiting for 4G and LTE (Long-Term Evolution) services that also need more bandwidth. It is now essential for Bangladesh to get connected with SEA-ME-WE-5.

The $44 million loan to be taken from the IDB will be payable in 10 years with a three-year grace period. The interest rate on the loan would be 4.15 percent, read the documents.

On top of that, there will be a service charge of 2.8 percent to be paid in 26 instalments.

Earlier, the IDB gave Bangladesh a loan when the country got connected with SEA-ME-WE-4 at a cost of $35.2 million in 2006. The loan was paid back in 18 instalments.

Sources said 17 companies from 14 countries have joined SEA-ME-WE-5 to get connected with the 20,000km cable line from Singapore to France.

Initially, the lifespan of the cable is set at 20 years but it could be extended by five years.

Apart from the BSCCL, the 16 other companies that joined the consortium include the Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel), China Mobile, China Telecommunications, Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company, Orange, PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia, Saudi Telecom Company, Telekom Malaysia and several companies from Sri Lanka, Thailand and India.

- See more at: http://www.thedailystar.net/backpage....YRZ1xHV9.dpuf
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Old May 24th, 2015, 10:48 PM   #1608
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I wonder why they chose the name Goldberg.

Its a Jewish name. May be the company is Jewish from America ?

I get the feeling that sometimes Bangladesh is seen as an easy target to exploit and make money out of becauseof its young and often ignorant population who might not know the difference between good quality and poor quality or for products and brands normally not known in the West or are unpopular. Eg those easily made donut shops or iced yoghurt shops.

Eg I have never heard of Mehindra Comviva, yet they want to sell some mobile technologies here. So why do we need them ?
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Old May 24th, 2015, 11:39 PM   #1609
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Its a Jewish name. May be the company is Jewish from America ?
The fact that it is a well known Jewish name is immaterial to me, and I'm sure, to many. The company isn't American, it is a local company. It could be a licensee of an American company, but I have no such information. Perhaps they chose the name in honor of Rube Goldberg

Quote:
Eg I have never heard of Mehindra Comviva, yet they want to sell some mobile technologies here. So why do we need them ?
Mahindra Group is a large conglomerate from India. They are well known for producing Jeep type vehicles.
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Old May 24th, 2015, 11:41 PM   #1610
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Mahindra Group is a large conglomerate from India. They are well known for producing Jeep type vehicles.
I have even seen ads of Mahindra tractors in the US.
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Old May 25th, 2015, 03:50 PM   #1611
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I have even seen ads of Mahindra tractors in the US.
So have I. Perhaps a lot many are unaware that India has some giant companies/conglomerates that predates (India's) independence. Mahindra was established in 1945. Both Bombay Dyeing and Tata dates back to the 1800s.
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Old May 27th, 2015, 12:00 AM   #1612
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Plan to set up mobile phone assembling plant
ICT exposition begins June 15
FE Desk

The government is going to organise a three-day Bangladesh ICT Expo-2015 at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) in the city.

ICT Division in collaboration with Bangladesh Computer Samity (BCS) will organise the event, which will kick off on June 15. President Abdul Hamid is expected to inaugurate.

After successful completion of Digital World during the last three consecutive years, the ICT Division is also partnering with private organisation to arrange the Bangladesh ICT Expo-2015 to showcase ICT products and share knowledge and innovation, secretary of the information and Communication Technology (ICT) Division Shyam Sunder Sikder told a press conference in the city Tuesday, according to BSS.

ICT Division and BCS jointly organised the press conference held at the BCS Dhanmondi office. Executive director of Bangladesh Computer Council (BCC) S M Ashraful Islam, BCS president A H M Mahfuzul Arif, and its vice-president Mazibur Rahman spoke at the function.

Stressing the need for enforcing joint effort, the ICT secretary said the government alone cannot materialise the dream of Digital Bangladesh as charted out in its Vision 2021. The private sector must have to come forward and join hands with the government to turn Bangladesh into a middle-income country by 2021 through implementing Digital Bangladesh, he added.

Mr Sikder said, "The Bangladesh ICT Expo-2015 would enable us to know the hurdles on way to advance the ICT sector and make it possible to remove those."

Mr Ashraf said the government has put stress on building a manufacturing ecosystem and setting up Research and Development (R&D) centre to boost the country's ICT sector.

"The assembling plants for manufacturing small devices like mobile phone will be established which would create employment for thousands," he said, adding that the ICT Expo-2015 will create an opportunity to showcase the manufacturing items of local and foreign companies.

The BCS president said nearly 400 million visitors are expected to visit the exposition.

The exposition would bring together local and international experts who will share and exchange their knowledge on ICT advancement and challenges in the seminars to be organised during the three-day exposition, he added.
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Old May 31st, 2015, 02:02 PM   #1613
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Toshiba to open office in Bangladesh

Star Business Report
Toshiba Corporation is set to open its maiden branch office in Bangladesh tomorrow in an effort to strengthen its presence in the country.

The office, which has already been set up, will be operated as the Bangladesh liaison office of Toshiba Asia Pacific, the Japanese tech giant said in a statement.

The new office will help Toshiba collect market information and boost its efforts to improve infrastructure in Bangladesh, according to the statement.

The opening of the office in Gulshan-1 of Dhaka fortifies Toshiba regional presence extending from India through the Asean countries, the company said.
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Old June 3rd, 2015, 02:10 AM   #1614
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BTRC to release 700MHz spectrum band for 4G
Ishtiaq Husain

Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission gears up to release 700MHz spectrum band for 4G or long-term evolution auction, as the government wants to introduce the latest technology to the mobile industry in 2016.

As part of its plan, the regulatory body cancelled 700MHz spectrum allocation to AlwaysOn Network Bangladesh Limited, an internet service provider (ISP).

The BTRC made the announcement through a press release yesterday.

At different programmes over the last few months, Sajeeb Wazed Joy, the ICT adviser to the prime minister, hinted at the introduction of 4G by 2016.

“The International Telecommunications Union defines 700MHz as a mobile band. We want to earn money as this band is precious for 4G or long-term evolution,” a BTRC official said, requesting anonymity.

The band will facilitate faster mobile internet, offering better, less costly and more expanded mobile broadband services by mobile operators than they do now, he said.

AlwaysOn Network was partially utilising its allocated spectrum of 700MHz for a long time, he said, adding that the spectrum of the state is limited and valuable.

“We could not keep the spectrum idle years after years without making good use of it,” he added.

As the spectrum issue with the AlawaysOn Network is pending at the court, Sarwar Alam, spokesperson and secretary to the regulatory body, declined to comment on the matter.

The BTRC has served several notices to AlwaysOn for replacing its allocated 700MHz with another band spectrum – 5.4MHz or 3.5MHz – and finally it issued a final notice on December 14 last year.

However, AlwaysOn continued its operation at 700MHz which annoyed the telecom watchdog.

The regulatory commission made the decision at a meeting to cancel AlwaysOn’s allocated 700MHz, and last Thursday it made an announcement in four national dailies making the ISP subscribers aware of the issue.

It also asked AlwaysOn to refrain from providing internet service until it gets the spectrum allocation applicable for the ISP companies.

The BTRC also requested consumers not to receive wireless internet service from AlwaysOn. However, there is no bar to getting wired internet service from the ISP.

The America-based company received 6MHz spectrum (6 uplink and 6 downlink) free of cost in 700MHz band on July 17, 2006.

In 2008, it got permission to operate its activities nationwide.

According to the BTRC, the company established 46 base stations for serving 1,300 customers.

When contacted, Reaz Shaheed, managing director of AlwaysOn, declined to comment on the matter as a case is pending on the spectrum issue at the court.

TIM Nurul Kabir, secretary general of the Association of Mobile Telecom Operators in Bangladesh (Amtob), told the Dhaka Tribune that the decision was realistic as the 700MHz band is defined only for cellphone.

Now, the BTRC will be able to allocate the spectrum properly in the future, added Nurul.

- See more at: http://www.dhakatribune.com/banglade....EX5bqs8j.dpuf
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Old June 5th, 2015, 12:28 AM   #1615
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Samsung distribution warehouse launched in Bangladesh

Samsung Electronics Bangladesh, for the first time in Bangladesh has launched a distribution warehouse in partnership with TNT, a press release said Thursday.
This is the first ever initiative by Samsung in Bangladesh where device parts and accessories will be delivered across the country based on prior orders from service centers.
A special inauguration ceremony was held at the warehouse where Choon Soo Moon, Country Manager of Samsung Electronics Bangladesh attended as the Chief Guest. Shimyong Jung, Vice President, Customer Satisfaction Team, Samsung India Electronics Ltd.; Tanjil Chowdhury, Managing Director, Bangladesh Trade Syndicate Ltd. and Tanveer Shahed, Head of Services, Samsung Electronics Bangladesh, also attended the ceremony as special guests. Among others, high official of both Samsung Electronics Bangladesh and TNT with Samsung Service Partners were present at the occasion.


Commenting on the warehouse launch, Choon Soo Moon, Country Manager of Samsung Electronics Bangladesh said, “The Samsung Warehouse is designed to provide the fastest delivery and easy solutions for all our consumers. Now our service centers will be more efficient and will provide quality repair work in the fastest turnaround time. With the association of TNT, we hope to establish an industry benchmark for premium customer service”.
Commenting on the launch Tanjil Chowdhury, Managing Director, Bangladesh Trade Syndicate Ltd. (authorized associates of TNT in Bangladesh) said, “We are happy to enter into first 3PL logistics business with Samsung which is an important milestone of TNT Express in Bangladesh. This warehouse operation will ensure Samsung’s Distributors to receive the service parts efficiently which will enhance the better customer service”.
The 2000 square ft. warehouse is placed in the central location of Tejgaon. From now on, Samsung mobile parts will be distributed all over the country on a daily basis based on requirements from the service centers. This initiative will increase the availability of spare parts for Samsung devices to ensure further customer satisfaction as repair time will be lesser than before.
- See more at: http://prnewsbd.com/10367/samsung-di....pdPC8vxd.dpuf
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Old June 5th, 2015, 12:29 AM   #1616
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Grameenphone launches trial of Mobile Connect service In Bangladesh

Grameenphone Ltd has launched a trial of the Mobile Connect service, a universal mobile-based authentication solution, for 1000 selected users of classified website www.ekhanei.com, a press release said Thursday.
Users will be able to securely log-on to www.ekhanei.com from their laptop or desktop by clicking on the Mobile Connect logo and typing their Grameenphone (GP) mobile number.
The GSMA Mobile Connect1 solution enables customers to create and manage a universal identity that will securely authenticate them and allow them to safely access a range of mobile and digital services. It uses customers’ mobile phone numbers to log-in to different sites and applications without the need to remember passwords and usernames.
Speaking on the occasion, Allan Bonke, CMO of Grameenphone said, “With our continuous pursuit of ‘Internet for All’, we want to harness the power of the internet to set an example on how easily users can access e-commerce sites and avail their desired products. Although Mobile Connect is in its primary stages, we believe that it has the potential to be an essential option for easier and affordable online transactions.”


Jaikishan Rajaraman, Head of Technology, Asia-Pacific, GSMA , Arild Haugen, Program Manager, Mobile Connect, Telenor Digital, Tao Rodien, Product Manager, Mobile Connect, Ekhanei.com and Sayma Rahman, Product Manager, Mobile Connect, Grameenphone were present on the occasion.
Grameenphone is launching this log-in solution with the prominent classified site www.ekhanei.com as a pilot project. Upon completing successful pilot, GP plans to tie up with other leading e-commerce sites, classifieds and apps.
As GP aspires to provide ‘Internet for All’, this solution will enable GP to offer easy access to mobile and digital services such as e-commerce, banking, health and digital entertainment, as well as e-government portals, via mobile phones.
“Mobile Connect addresses the familiar problem of having multiple passwords for multiple websites by offering a single, trusted, mobile phone-based authentication solution that gives consumers greater control of their data,” said Marie Austenaa, VP and Head of Personal Data & Mobile Identity Programme, GSMA.
“The service is gaining momentum around the world with 17 mobile operators already preparing to launch this year and we welcome the addition of Grameenphone Ltd to this leading group.”
- See more at: http://prnewsbd.com/10239/grameenpho....MAYgKCrS.dpuf
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Old June 10th, 2015, 01:12 AM   #1617
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Bangladesh's first satellite to be launched by 2017, hopes PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Monday expressed her firm optimism to launch Bangladesh's first-ever satellite into space by 2017 to bring a revolutionary change in the telecom and information technology sector, reports BSS.

"We have taken necessary measures to launch the country's first satellite "Bangabandhu Satellite" into orbit. The orbital slot to this end has already been purchased. I hope that this satellite would be launched by 2017," she said, adding it would bring an epoch-making change in the telecom and ICT sector.

The Prime Minister said this while addressing the inaugural function of the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day and completion of 150 years of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in the city Monday afternoon.

State Minister for ICT Division Zunaid Ahmed Palak and Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Post and Telecommunication and ICT Ministry Imran Ahmed spoke at the function as the special guests.

Secretary of the Post and Telecommunication Division Md Faizur Rahman Chowdhury presided over the function, while a video message of ITU Secretary General Houlin Zhao was broadcast.

Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) Chairman Sunil Kanti Bose delivered the welcome address and presented the keynote paper on the theme of the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day---"The Telecommunications and ICTs: Drivers of Innovation".

Earlier, the Prime Minister handed over awards among the winners of the online essay competition, which was arranged on the occasion of the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day and completion of 150 years of the ITU.

Sheikh Hasina also released a commemorative postage stamp on the occasion. Spelling out her government steps for the development of the telecom and ICT sectors, the Prime Minister also hoped that Bangladesh would be connected with the second submarine cable by 2016.

She said her government has increased the submarine cable capacity up to 200 gbps to meet the growing demand of internet. "We have taken initiatives to link the country with the second submarine cable and the work is underway," she said.

"We hope that Bangladesh would be connected with the second submarine cable by December 2016 and through which the country would get about 1300 gbps bandwidth," she said.

The Prime Minister said international communication is being developed through terrestrial cable side by side with the submarine cable.
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Old June 10th, 2015, 01:20 AM   #1618
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Entire country to come under 3G coverage by next year: GP
Rajeev Sethi
Muhammad Zahidul Islam

Grameenphone has received enormous responses from the data service market in its one and a half years into 3G technology, and the operator holds greater plans to further empower subscribers through this service.

Newly appointed Chief Executive Officer of Grameenphone Rajeev Sethi was excited about the prospects of 3G in the country and they have big plans to expand the network within the shortest possible time.

Exuding confidence in their ambition of 'internet for all', Sethi said, “We have big success in voice, and now data is a matter of customer awareness.”

In an interview with The Daily Star, Sethi said their plans on network expansion are aggressive -- to cover the entire Bangladesh with 3G network by the end of next year.

Grameenphone currently has 8.7 million subscribers who are using the 3G technology, out of a total of 52 million active SIMs as of March, according to Bangladesh Telecommu-nication Regulatory Commission.

“In a span of 18 months, the response we found from the market was huge, and we consider it an achievement for GP.”

Currently 65-70 percent of Grameen-phone's sites cover the 3G network, he said. “As per our parent company's (Telenor Group) plans, we will cover the whole country with modern network by the end of next year.”

Subscribers who used internet with their 2G network are mainly the ones who switched to 3G services, Sethi said. “That was a significant achievement for us. Not many countries have seen that kind of a quick change.”

With an increasing number of data users, especially of 3G data, Grameenphone's earnings from data are going up every quarter -- it went up from Tk 150 crore in the last quarter of 2014 to Tk 160 crore in the first quarter of 2015.

According to the operator's quarterly business update, their data earnings in the first quarter of 2015 increased 68 percent from the same quarter last year.

Sethi also said they had to invest more in data business to get optimal benefits from it.

In his first interview with the media in his five and a half months in Bangladesh, the CEO said, “Political turmoil in the first couple of months of the year was my main challenge, which impacted us a lot. Our revenue declined and the country's economy was also being affected, and hopefully we are overcoming it.”

In the last quarter of 2014, Grameenphone's total revenue was Tk 2,590 crore; it declined 1 percent to Tk 2,520 crore in the January-March quarter of 2015.

On the uncertainties over the upcoming spectrum auction, he said Grameenphone needs additional spectrum to offer better services, but it might shun the auction as some issues are not settled yet.

Until its demands -- resolving the SIM replacement tax issue and allowing technology neutrality -- are met, Grameenphone will not participate in the auction for additional 2G and 3G spectrum, Sethi said.

“The way we are experiencing growth of data and keeping our vision of 'internet for all' in mind, we will need more spectrum in the coming years.”

The government has decided to sell the remaining spectrum of 1,800 MHz for 2G services and 2,100 MHz for 3G services. The government could earn $648 million if all the spectrum blocks are sold at the base prices.

When asked whether the industry would face a loss if the auction is called off, Sethi said they need spectrum to offer better services to their customers; so if the auction is called off, it will be a loss for the users as well.

“Increasing the use of internet adds value to the economy, which may suffer.”

The BTRC had initially set an auction date for April 30 but rescheduled it twice to May 20 and May 27, as the mobile operators did not apply within the stipulated time.

To ensure the best service quality, they will also need technology neutrality for the efficient use of those spectrums and a long-term roadmap for the industry, he added.

If the government allows the use of any band of spectrum for any technology, then the mobile operators can use their spectrum efficiently, he said.

“We don't know what kind of service we can offer and a roadmap needs to make it clear, which will also be helpful for the investors in making their plans.”

On allowing one more mobile phone operator in the market, Sethi said there is already intense competition in the market with six operators, and 80 percent penetration has been achieved.

In response to allegations of a higher number of call drops and poor voice quality, he said, “GP is a company that stands for better service quality for years now. I believe we are well above the industry standards in service quality.

But sometimes the users might think differently.”

The operator invested Tk 1,270 crore in 2013, Tk 1,530 crore in 2014, and Tk 370 crore in the first three months this year, to roll out 3G and boost 2G capacity and efficiency, according to its financial report.
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Old June 14th, 2015, 05:18 PM   #1619
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Microsoft to build ties with Walton
Tribune Report

Microsoft Corporation wants to build ties with Walton for business expansion, as it has witnessed great success in it 3G-enabled tab "Walpad Pro," which uses Windows Operating System (OS).

“The successful introduction of Walpad Pro in the Bangladesh tab market has paved the way for building a strong business tie between the country’s leading brand Walton and the world’s renowned software developer Microsoft Corporation,” said a statement yesterday.

Walton recently launched its latest and most stylish multifunctional expert tab "Walpad Pro," featured with the latest Windows 8.1 operating system. Microsoft is deeply interested in working with the local electronics giant, aiming to expand the market of its Windows Operating System in Bangladesh, it added.

“In terms of marketing the Windows OS through mobile and tab devices in Bangladesh, Walton is the only local partner of Microsoft and we are eager to build strong business ties with Walton for expanding the market share of Windows OS in Bangladesh,” said Ruzwana Chowdhury, channel manager (MNA) of Microsoft Bangladesh.

- See more at: http://www.dhakatribune.com/business....OqGps5MQ.dpuf
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Old Yesterday, 03:43 PM   #1620
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Bangladesh gets go-ahead for first technology business park
DHAKA

Bangladesh is to go ahead with development of a technolgy business park, Kaliakoir Hi-Tech Park (KHTP), which is expected to inject new life into the country’s IT industry, a junior government minister said on Sunday.

An agreement was signed on Sunday between state run Bangladesh Hi-Tech Park Authority (BHTPA) and Summit Technopolis Limited, a sister concern of local conglomerate Summit Group.

The KHTP site covers 232 acres of land in Gazipur district, 37 kilometres (23 miles) north of Dhaka with the first phase of development due to be fully operational within 10 years and creating job opportunites for 60,000 IT professionals.

Under the agreement signed on Sunday a joint venture between Summit Technopolis and India-based Infinity Infosys Parks Limited will jointly invest $208 million in the first phase.

"Hi-Tech Park is our dream project which was delayed for 14 years and finally today we signed the agreement with Summit Technopolis Limited,” said Zunaid Ahmed Palak, junior minister for Information and Communication Technology (ICT).

“It will be a specialised economic zone and lifeline of the country’s IT sector. A world-class business environment will be created for the local and foreign investors in the KHTP,” he added.

"We consider this project as an opportunity to take Bangladesh to a new frontier in manufacturing," said Muhammed Aziz Khan, Chairman of the Summit Group.

"Our plan is to build Summit Technopolis in a manner that it does for Bangladesh what Silicon Valley did for the USA. We will shift the value addition of manufacturing many notches upwards in Bangladesh."

The Park will be developed as a Public Private Partnership (PPP) with Summit responsible for 90 percent of total costs and the Indian firm for 10 percent.

http://in.reuters.com/article/2015/0...0P80SR20150628
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