Wednesday, August 24, 2005 - Bangladesh Telecom

Nokia in Bangladesh mobile infrastructure market

Nokia has sealed its very first deal in the Bangladesh cellular mobile infrastructure market by supplying Short Message Service Centre (SMSC) and Online Service Controller (OSC) rating and charging solution to GrameenPhone (GP).

Neither Nokia nor GP revealed the value of this deal.

Nokia claims its solutions will enhance GP's existing SMS (short message system) service as well as significantly increase the operator's SMS capacity. These solutions will also enable GP to offer a series of new services, according to Nokia's press release.

Despite having strong presence in India and Pakistan, Nokia has not seriously focused on the Bangladesh mobile market since three GSM licences were issued in 1996. The Finnish vendor has, however, opened its office in Dhaka lately, and reportedly launched aggressive campaign in the fast growing mobile phone sector.

Nokia has replaced Logica's SMS system in GP. A spokesperson of GP told that it will retain Logica's equipment as a backup solution.

The industry insiders consider Nokia's entry as a challenge to Ericsson. The Swedish vendor had been solely supplying the entire infrastructure of GP from the very first day of its operation.

GP invited bids for a second vendor for its infrastructure in 2003. Ericsson and Nokia locked horn in that event and the Swedish vendor finally clinched the deal by offering an undisclosed amount of predatory discount to retain the largest customer in Bangladesh. GP sources said that it is going to invite similar bids very shortly.

"The entry provides us an opportunity to demonstrate our technology and service leadership," says Rajeev Suri, Nokia's senior vice president of Asia Pacific region's Networks Division. "This deal marks the beginning of our cooperation with GP, a pioneer and market leader in the Bangladesh mobile market," he added.

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