Thursday, November 17, 2005 - Bangladesh Telecom

Banglalink offers new prepaid plan

Country's one of the cellphone operator Banglalink urged the government to rethink whether it would be financially viable to allow any more companies for mobile operation.

Banglalink chief commercial officer Mehboob Chowdhury, at a briefing to announce a new prepaid package, Be Linked, in Dhaka on Wednesday, said the government should look into whether the market could absorb a growing number of operators.

'How many operators can a market take? It is an important question which the government needs to find an answer to,' he said.

Citing examples of Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore where at the beginning there were more than three operators now reduced to only three, Mehboob urged the government to think before allowing any more operators.

'We have told the government of the experiences of other countries and hope it would think whether allowing more operators would be viable,' he said.

There are now five mobile operators, with a base of about 80 lakh subscribers, and another company would soon be given licence.

Mehboob reiterated his company’s plan to grab more share of the growing market. ‘We will continue to offer the lowest price. If a company announces lower price plan, we will further reduce our charges.’

Banglalink now covers 57 districts and by the end of the year, it will cover 61 districts, he said.

He said some mobile operators in Europe were trying to replicate its idea of the Ladies, First package, which contributed to a 600 per cent increase in female users of Banglalink.

The new package, Be Linked, offers Tk 4.40 a minute and a 30-second pulse for calls to any mobile operators, which Banglalink officials said, is the ‘lowest peak-hour rate.’

The package has a discounted rate of Tk 3 a minute between 7:00 am and 10:00 am for calls to any operators and Tk 2.5 a minute throughout the day for calls to Banglalink numbers.

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