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Old September 6th, 2014, 06:32 AM   #1581
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BTCL to develop countrywide wireless network

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Old September 6th, 2014, 08:20 AM   #1582
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Firefox OS is going to Launch in Bangladesh

This latest addition to mobile operating systems is web-based and completely customizable.
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Smartphones have started a new era in handheld devices. Now a days these can be used instead of Desktop Computer or Laptop. These are capable of not only making or receiving calls, but also can be used to browse websites, play interactive games, click photos and edit, even connect to remote desktops. There are only about 3 major mobile OS being used on a large scale, Android is the one used most, followed by iOS and Windows.

The main concern about the mainstream mobile OSs are that they are closed source and require high end hardware to run. But Mozilla (the community that is mostly known as the developer of Firefox Browser) believes in openness and the power people has come up with an Operating System that requires extensively less amount of resource or hardware and provides the same (or more) performance. This reduces the manufacturing cost and hence the retail price of the phone.

So what makes it different from the established OSs?

Actually, we can say that Firefox OS is just the Firefox browser which is simply running on the phone. To be more clear, the OS itself is the browser. In one single word, it is a “Web Based OS”. Any modifications you make to the user interface and any applications you create to run on Firefox OS are web apps created using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. So, any one can easily understand what’s going on inside and if you don’t like some the way it came as, you just have to connect the device with your PC and make any changes you wish. No flashing, no rooting or ROM installing task needed. This also reflects one of the motto of Mozilla – Openness and Dedicated to the user.

Why should I switch to Firefox OS?

Unlike any other OS, its source code is totally open and any user can modify anything on their device. And most importantly have access to all the device hardware and functionality.

As the apps are web based apps, so the size of the apps are really small in bytes. So you’ll need less amount of memory in more importantly less data to download. And you can even run apps before installing or downloading.

And the best of the best part is it comes in our own mother language – Bangla. And guess what? It’s not like traditional teeth breaking language. The language part is developed by Human – The Mozillians of Bangladesh!

Target users and market: As we told you before, that Firefox OS is totally different from the OS that are running at large and works well with low-end devices. So if you’re using Galaxy S4 or iPhone 5 or some smartphone that costs over $300, Firefox OS devices won’t be able to meet your needs/expectation. It’s made to spread the power of the web to the people who use just the basic phone to only make and receive calls.

Mozilla showcased a smartphone prototype costing as little as $25 at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February, targeting developing countries including Bangladesh, India and China

If you look at the recent Firefox OS launches in the countries like Brazil, Mexico and recently India, most of the countries are developing countries. Bangladesh is going to be next one. Mozilla and Telenor (aka Grameenphone) are jointly going to launch Firefox OS in Bangladesh soon.

In most of the countries all the devices released were focused on the price. Their marketing strategy was to announce the “cheapest smartphone” in the country. India wasn’t any different: they have also focused on the price and launched Intex Cloud Fx which is selling at Rupees 1999 (BDT 2537). But point to be noted is this phone is a 2G phone with dual SIM dual standby.

After the announcement of 3G in Bangladesh, BTRC has imposed a regulation to integrate 3G feature in all smartphones. To comply with this regulation Mozilla has engineered and included 3G feature into Firefox OS; and the upcoming device will have 3G facility, which will increase the device cost in this consequence. So on the good side we’re lucky that we’re going to receive a quite high-end phone but on the other hand, this could increase the price a little. But I don’t think its a bad news for us. At least we will get what we’re paying for.

Most of the writeup compiled by Sekandar Badsha.
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Old September 6th, 2014, 03:52 PM   #1583
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I was told by a recent visitor from Dhaka that 3G coverage is spotty and inconsistent. So much so that most smartphone users are yet to reliably use their apps over 3G. Most continue to depend on WiFi (to use the apps).
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Old September 11th, 2014, 08:32 AM   #1584
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BTRC: Banglalink fastest of all other operators in 3G data service - See more at: http://www.dhakatribune.com/technolo....Y4dkVj4o.dpuf
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Old September 23rd, 2014, 04:02 PM   #1585
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Old September 23rd, 2014, 09:21 PM   #1586
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Originally Posted by Naz_toronto View Post
If Daffodil is the top institution according to their study, there is no need to look beyond that point in the video.
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Old October 5th, 2014, 06:03 PM   #1587
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Gates Links Technology, Banking Services for Poor

By Anupreeta Das

Oct. 2, 2014 9:20 p.m. ET

BOSTON— Bill Gates is banking on digital technology to bring financial services to the world’s poor.
“Rich people take for granted loans, insurance, banking” and other financial services that poor people have little access to, Mr. Gates said in an interview Thursday before delivering the keynote address at Sibos, a banking-industry conference in Boston.
Mr. Gates, the world’s richest man and a philanthropist, said that digital technology provides a low-cost way for people in developing countries to send money to each other, buy and sell goods, borrow and save as long as the financial-regulation environment is supportive.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which has made financial services for the poor one of its priorities, supports services that enable digital payments and charge fees as low as 1% of the transaction, he added.

The Gates Foundation, of which Mr. Gates is co-chairman, has invested an undisclosed amount in a company, bKash, that lets customers in Bangladesh pay bills or transfer money using their cellphones. As in many other low- and middle-income countries, only about 15% of the south Asian nation’s population has access to formal financial services. However, nearly 70% of Bangladeshis have mobile phones.

Calling it a “wild adoption of technology” in his keynote, Mr. Gates said 13 million customers are “getting financial services, transferring money, paying in shops” because bKash exploited the ubiquity of cellphones to deliver a needed service.

Traditional banking services don’t often reach the poor because banks consider it uneconomic. It’s not always feasible for a bank to build a bricks-and-mortar outpost in a rural area. Mr. Gates said his foundation, the world’s largest, with a $40 billion endowment, was targeting people who save less than $1,000 annually and for whom the average transaction isn’t more than $5.

Digital transactions, he said in the interview, can be processed at a fraction of the cost of financial services offered in the developed world.

The foundation began making financial-services-related grants many years ago and has given tens of millions to similar efforts in Haiti, Tanzania and other countries. It is arguably better known for its efforts to improve education and global health.
With about 2.5 billion people globally who have no access to bank accounts and other financial services, the Microsoft Corp. co-founder said there is a big waiting market as well as the opportunity for technological innovation. Many of the world’s poor keep their savings in cash or physical assets such as gold or farm animals, sometimes at significant risk.

They aren’t always able to transfer money to family members in need, or receive remittances from their kin working abroad. Cash meant for one purpose often gets used up for emergencies, while the lack of borrowing options frequently sends them into debt.
“Money lenders rule your life,” but low-cost digital payment systems provide a compelling and secure alternative, Mr. Gates said. “People will have money problems, but they should have options.”

Other companies have launched similar initiatives in emerging markets, and Mr. Gates said he is broadly supportive of any attempts to provide these services affordably to the poor.

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Old October 19th, 2014, 09:06 AM   #1588
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G&R Bangladesh Announces Partnership with Amazon Web Services

G&R is taking another step in fulfilling its mission by taking local businesses to cloud. The wide array of services that AWS offers may mean that it can suit to the needs of various types of businesses and take a large number of local corporations to cloud.
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On 14th October, G&R (Green and Red Technologies) hosted a conference at Sonargaon Hotel in order to announce its partnership with Amazon Web Services (AWS). G&R is a platform that brings together buyers and sellers of online advertising space. Since its inception in 2010, G&R’s mission has been to build a better Bangladesh through internet adoption. Currently the company serves more than 20 million banner ads a day and has a customer base consisting of organizations ranging from prominent corporations to small startups.

amazon large

Amazon has aimed to bring Bangladesh to the cloud by partnering with G&R. Key figures from both companies discussed the plans, services and ideas involved in further digitizing advertisements in Bangladesh.

After a welcome speech, CEO of G&R, Nash Islam, took the stage and gave a brief explanation of the things that worked behind the scenes during online ad-transactions. He revealed that Google AdSense currently handles 700 million ad requests in Bangladesh per month and given G&R’s growth, the company is projected to overtake Google’s numbers by December 2014. CTO of G&R, Rezaul Rahman also spoke at the event and explained how G&R would work with AWS in order to deliver better advertisement services to customers.

Vivek Gupta, Head of Partners & Alliances, India & SAARC, Amazon Web Services gave an overview of the services provided by AWS. All of the services provided by AWS fall under the following broad categories: Computing, Storage, Network, Database and other packages to help businesses set up their own cloud (Imparting knowledge and training for example). AWS currently offers over 800 services and features, with over 35 being major new services, and also has a number of safety checks, backups and recovery options for disaster events. The company currently has major corporations (such as the Indian Television Channel Sony Entertainment) and government agencies (Such as NASA) as clients.

Vivek Gupta also discussed why customers use AWS. Generally, Amazon offers a number of advantages which include Elasticity (you’re able to scale resources as needed), Reducing the need to plan for capacity and resources, end hardware refresh cycles, and General reduction of costs by economies of scale and efficiency. Amazon Web Services currently has a number of prominent clients which include government agencies and large, established corporations.

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Eshan Aleem Avee, Senior Software Engineer from bdnews24.com was invited to give a testimonial of the benefits the Internet News Website obtained by working with AWS. BD News has been working with AWS since 2013. Mr. Avee expressed his satisfaction with the services obtained and is confident that the website can handle upto 2-3 times its current traffic in real time. When asked more about their experience of working with AWS, Mr Avee said: “The Best part of Amazon Web Services is that they are 100% on-time. From our experience, we never had any downtime, their systems are robust and reliable.”

Ayub Shahrear, Head of Services G&R focused on explaining how the G&R and AWS partnership would launch consulting services. He outlined a 4-day program for Web Application Hosting. The general idea is to get a good idea of the state of IT in Bangladesh, then advertise the benefits of AWS. Services will be initially limited to applications less than 50GB and hosted on less than four server instances.

The partnership was well received by the audience and many people are looking forward to the potential opportunities.

Here are the key takeaways from this event:

1. G&R is taking another step in fulfilling its mission by taking local businesses to cloud

2. The wide array of services that AWS offers may mean that it can suit to the needs of various types of businesses and take a large number of local corporations to cloud.

AWS has been well received, which should give Amazon quite a bit of traction in the local market.
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Old October 19th, 2014, 09:07 AM   #1589
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Blue Apple BD – Giving Life to Your Inner Child

Having over 350 employees on payroll including architects, executives, technicians and interns, Blue Apple BD is a success story worth being told.
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This week Startup Dhaka caught up with Md. Ariful Islam, the founder and Managing Director of a highly innovative interior décor company called Blue Apple BD. This isn’t just another interior design firm. They are in the game for something far bigger than mere profits. Having over 350 employees on payroll including architects, executives, technicians and interns, Blue Apple BD is a success story worth being told.

blue apple sm

Tell us about yourselves. What are your products and services?

Blue Apple BD offers custom made Interior designing services and consulting for interior designs. We provide highly customized services with the customer in mind. We let the customers come up with their budget, and we try to provide them the designs they want right within that budget. We produce the furniture and provide them along with the decoration services. We also provide decoration related consulting services to our clients free of charge. Our services reach anywhere in Bangladesh.

What sets you apart from other interior decoration businesses?

One’s own home décor is something which reflects the owner’s personality. It brings out their creative inner child. We try our very best to stay true to that, with our aim towards 100% customer satisfaction. We provide services for a very competitive price. This is in fact lower than what most other firms provide and we deliver within a shorter span of time. Our motto is immense personalization. We believe that a decorated interior of a home or an office is a very personal representation of their very nature. We try our very best to help our clients bring to life that creative inner child of their through our services.

What is your target market?

We offer our services to anyone who wants their home, office or restaurant decorated. There is a very common misconception that interior decoration is only for the Upper and Upper Middle Class. We want to change that. Although our target market is the corporate sector, with jobs for decorating mostly offices, we also do homes for a reasonable price. Some of our current clients include Energypac.

What is your business model? How do you profit?

Our profit margin is 2-4% of the budget per project. Our business model revolves around a very dedicated team of workers, architects and executives. Unlike other companies, we don’t hire contractors. Our workers work here for a monthly salary. Our Executives are well trained, very co-operative and help the clients pick their design by being in their shoes helping them throughout the decision making process. We have a very thorough screening process and we ensure we pick the most experienced as well as dedicated people. While our firm has not been around that long, having started in 2011, many of our employees have over 15 years of experience. We also have internees from public institutes of the country to train here getting a taste of an Architect’s life.

What are some milestones you plan to achieve within a year?

We would like to expand our base of corporate clients and make a greater impact there. Personally, I have always wanted to have a project which will be a very personal, signature work of mine. A mark I will have left behind on behalf of this company. We want to help set a trend for companies like this to come forward and bring the vision and creativity to fruition.

What are some of The Obstacles you have faced?

The major Obstacle we faced was the unavailability of some hardware we need to process our furniture into specific shapes and sizes. For that, we had to bear the greater cost of bringing them from abroad.

Why did you choose your own business over getting a job?

I have worked in the banking sector. It was a good safe way to earn a living. But it did not give me the same excitement and an opportunity to put my creativity to work that Blue Apple BD does.

Any advice you’d offer for fellow entrepreneurs like yourself?

One of my role models once said “Doing Good is Good Business.” Whatever you do, maintaining honesty and integrity with your clientele is of utmost importance. Focus on being fair about meeting demands. Good reputation based on quality service and honest work will indeed enrich your client profile and revenues are bound to follow.

People tend to be very critical. You will find many who will overlook the good things about your work to point out little flaws. These little details can make or break the experience you provide. Keep the little details in mind and you’re bound to succeed.

Where is your office?

Our office address is House 112, Road 2, Block A, Basundhara Residential Area, Dhaka.

Contact: Kowsar Hossain




02- 8402525




Find out more about Blue Apple BD at: http://blueapplebd.com/home.php
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Old October 19th, 2014, 09:07 AM   #1590
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Meet Parvez Akther: The Founder of leading Template Firm in Bangladesh

Startup Dhaka got in touch with Parvez Akther, the CEO of ThemeXpert.
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unnamed (1)

Parvez Akther is a young and an enthusiast web developer who believes that nothing is impossible in the domain of programming. With his extensive 8 years of working experience in web & advance level programming, he has created cool, applicable and useful Joomla Template Framework, Expose. Expose has been heart of more than millions of websites which are running online.

After developing Expose Framework, he came to a conclusion and bootstrapped his own startup called ThemeXpert. ThemeXpert has more than 57000 clients all over the world and is a renowned Template Studio for Joomla! Startup Dhaka got in touch with Parvez Akther, the CEO of ThemeXpert.

unnamed (2)

Q. Tell us about your business.

ThemeXpert is a theme development studio which aims to provide high quality and unique themes for every niche. Small and medium business owners don’t have much money to spend on their website. ThemeXpert helps them to create a maintainable and unique website at very low cost.

We have 50+ themes and 17+ extensions for Joomla! and we are serving more than 57000 clients all over the world. We are working on WordPress and trying to make available our entire collection to WordPress as soon as we can.

Q. What led you to starting ThemeXpert.com?

I worked for a local company where my main duty was to create website with Joomla CMS. I fell in love with Joomla and found there is so much possibility with it. I left the job and started freelancing. I always wanted to make something reusable and easy to use which can make my life easier. I built my own theme framework to deliver clients work as fast as possible. As a Joomla fan boy I quickly built a theme for Joomla and released it for free. My free theme attracted a lot of attention and I received positive feedbacks. Then I made a premium theme and released it on my site and got immediate sale! That boosted my confidence and started full time theming business under the ‘ThemeXpert’ brand.

Q. What is the business model? How do you make money?

Our business model is pretty straightforward. We sell themes on our website. We sell single themes and memberships. Membership allows people to download all of our themes whereas single purchase gives him privilege to download only the purchased one.

We also provide consultancy and custom design/development service to our clients and to others who contact us.

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Q. What are the main challenges that you faced in setting up ThemeXpert?

First challenge for me was to find the right mentor who can guide me and correct my mistakes. There was no startup friendly environment and there wasn’t people who were willing to help. Resources were limited and no skilled person around. Today you can easily make a theme and sell on ThemeForest. There are many free and paid courses available and many technical/non-technical events take place every month. I founded Joomla Bangladesh Group to help people learn Joomla and earn. I’ve helped a lot of individuals bootstrap their business. We have arranged meetups, workshops and are planning to do more this year.

Second and most important challenge was to get my hard earned money to my pocket. PayPal’s unavailability and bank’s restrictions led me crazy. Then I found 2checkout and I am still using it for payment gateway solution.

unnamed (4)

Q. What is your target market? How large is it?

As I mentioned earlier, in my first job I worked with Joomla and fell in love with it. In 2005-06 WordPress was considered as blogging tools where Joomla is a CMS. Since then WordPress grown twice faster than Joomla and has taken the big CMS market share. Joomla! has 16% CMS market share and 3% of all websites where WordPress has 54% market share. We are working hard to enter the WordPress market this year.

Q. What are your future plans with the company?

Technology is evolving so fast and our plan is to adapt as many CMS market we can. I also want to make ThemeXpert a platform where other company/individuals like us can sell their products. Our goal is to sell local developer products like themes and plugin and help them to make better one. When you submit your product on foreign company like ThemeForest they will either accept or reject you with some valid causes. They won’t teach you how to make better product. We have already started this and we are very hopeful about the end result.

Q. Why did you choose to do your own startup instead of getting a job?

For me, free is freedom. I always wanted to build products and validate my ideas. So, I choose the entrepreneurial path instead a job, and this gives me freedom to work on my project which I love.

Q. What advice would you give to other startups?

Just Do It. Create idea, validate it and build it. If the product is good it will speak itself.


To know more about ThemeXpert, please visit:

Website: http://www.themexpert.com/

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/ThemeXpert

Twitter : https://twitter.com/themexpert
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Old November 12th, 2014, 02:40 PM   #1591
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Google Bus launched in Bangladesh to train students

Google Bus has been launched in Bangladesh to train its half a million of college and university students the use of Internet.

State Minister for Information Communication Technology Junaid Ahmed Polok inaugurated Google Bus Bangladesh project at Bangabandhu International conference centre in Dhaka this morning.

The project aims to empower 5 lakhs undergraduates by conducting Internet workshops for a year visiting 500 college and university campuses in 35 locations across the country.

The Google Bus itself has been retrofitted with stowaway seats, 3G Internet connectivity and an array of monitors and sound system where training audio-video material can be casted to all the screens, said in press release of Google.

Students also can connect online with their peers and learn about the power and utility of the Internet as well as expose themselves to Google tools.

“Bangladesh is a country on the move with an immense pool of youthful citizens to help it progress and prosper. Equipped with the right training, we think this young, energetic and highly motivated section of society would be able to maximise the endless possibilities of the Internet and create a connected, digital Bangladesh for the global village,” James McClure, country manager emerging markets of Google Asia Pacific, said addressing the inaugural session.

The project is already underway in Dhaka where several campus workshops have taken place.

Over the next few months it will make its way to academic institutions in and around Chittagong, Khulna, Sylhet, Rajshahi, Rangpur, Barisal and other major cities.

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Old November 24th, 2014, 08:34 PM   #1592
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Fenox puts the bang in Bangladesh by raising a $200M fund
Daniel Tay
12:00 am on 24 Nov 2014

fenox vc $200m fund bangladesh

Bangladesh is not the first place you’d think of when talking about startup ecosystems. Their sheer size – a population of 156 million – however makes it the eighth most populous country in the world, and that alone deserves some reckoning.

Here’s why. Despite only 21 percent of its population being internet users, that already makes up roughly 33 million people – not a number to laugh at. Throw in another 114 million mobile phone subscribers, and you’ve got a huge market just waiting to be taken. With 94 percent of its internet users accessing the internet via a mobile device, their situation is not unlike Myanmar, which has shown lots of promise in recent years.

This is one of the reasons why Silicon Valley-based Fenox VC (disclosure: Fenox is a Tech in Asia investor) has taken an interest in the country, and is looking to put together a US$200 million fund – with the help of local and global entities – to invest in startups emerging out of Bangladesh. This will make it the first Silicon Valley VC firm to enter the country, and it believes that “Bangladesh is ready to start tackling challenges to create a rich startup ecosystem.”

“Bangladesh has a large, young population, an outstanding internet and mobile growth with an unexplored entrepreneurial system which all make Bangladesh a place of innovation, discovery, change, disruption, creation and investment,” says Kyle Kling, VP of business development at Fenox VC. “For Fenox, Bangladesh qualifies as the right country to be a part of in terms of developing the world’s most influential startups.”

Besides just putting their money in, Kling says that Fenox intends to come down to the ground and “nurture, develop, and grow Bangladeshi companies while connecting them to the right strategic players.”

With this in mind, Fenox is putting its money where its mouth is with an investment in Bangladeshi internet portal Priyo, which is touted as the “Yahoo” of the country with a similar content model. According to Kling, the portal sees over 1 million unique visitors and 915,000 pageviews per day. They’re working with several content partners and newspapers to share and syndicate news.

With the rapid growth of mobile and internet users locally, the company expects to continue an upward trajectory. The team is now in the midst of working out a partnership with Bangladesh’s leading cell phone provider, GrameenPhone, which has 50 million users, as well as local smartphone vendor Symphony, for a joint marketing campaign. If successful, it will see Priyo’s mobile app and logo pre-installed on up to 5 million Symphony smartphones, and GrameenPhone will also provide free internet browsing access to the internet portal through its mobile internet.

Zakaria Swapan, founder and CEO of Priyo, believes that the entry of Fenox will “redefine the local high-tech industry.”

“Start-up culture is very new in Bangladesh. Our young entrepreneurs have many ideas [that] can solve the local problems. But, getting proper funding at right time is a big challenge for them. Bangladeshi start-ups need proper funding, management and right strategy to be successful even in local market,” he explains.

Anis Uzzaman, general partner and CEO of Fenox VC, says: “Priyo is a perfect example of a Bangladeshi startup in which Fenox VC sees stunning potential. Being the top news portal in Bangladesh, backed by an outstanding team, coupled with Bangladesh’s explosive internet and mobile growth, makes Priyo a very exciting venture.”

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Old November 29th, 2014, 12:41 AM   #1593
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I am excited to see what kind of apps the local software firms develop. With 3G (and soon, 4G hopefully) in place, there can be a lot of proliferation of app usage in Bangladesh.

Already, mobile banking is making a big mark in Bangladesh. Hoping that other industries will follow suit.
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