Wednesday, September 21, 2005 - Bangladesh Telecom

GrameenPhone launches EDGE data service commercially

Country's leading Cellphone operator GrameenPhone on Monday commercially launched EDGE (Enhanced Data Rates for Global Evolution) technology, a high-speed mobile internet and data service.

The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) chairman, Omar Faruq, launched the service in a programme at the Sonargaon Hotel in Dhaka.

The data service will enable GP subscribers to enjoy services such as downloading video and music clips, sending and receiving multimedia messages, accessing the internet and sending and receiving e-mail.

GrameenPhone subscribers living in and around Dhaka and Chittagong metropolises will initially be able to use EDGE by using a GPRS, EDGE or MMS-enabled handsets.

GrameenPhone managing director Erik Aas said the launch of EDGE is something special for GP subscribers and GrameenPhone has been constantly working towards increasing quality and coverage.

He said there were two main reasons which keep the high growth of the GrameenPhone, which now has about 40 lakh subscribers.

'We reach more or less everywhere and the high quality, and capacity of network are the main reasons for such a high growth,' said Aas.

He said the technology needs high-quality network as it is eight times faster than the ordinary GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) technology.

He said GrameenPhone now covers 70 per cent of the population area and is expected to reach 85 per cent by year-end.

GramneePhone marketing director Kafil HS Muyeed said two types of packages are available to EDGE subscribers.

The first package is pay-as- you-go, which would be available for prepaid and postpaid subscribers without any monthly fees.

There will be a charge on browsing and downloading; and in the case of content download, charge will include the price of the contents and the price of download. Browsing charge will be Tk 0.02 per kilobyte in the first package.

The second package, only for post-paid subscribers, will have a monthly fee of Tk 1,000 for unlimited browsing. The subscribers will only need to pay the price of the content.

EDGE service will remain free till November; the charges will be applicable after the time.

Omar Faruq said mobile phone replaces the landline. He urged the mobile operators to improve the network and call quality.

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