The launching of the country’s first satellite Bangabandhu-1, introducing 4G internet service and Mobile Network Portability System (MNPS), have not been lunched for some unavoidable complexities.
The government was determined to inaugurate these high-voltage projects by the end of 2017.
The launching process of the country’s much-hyped satellite was scheduled to be launched from Cape Carnival Launch Pad in Florida, USA on the Victory Day. The schedule was postponed after Hurricane Irma caused havoc in Florida in early September.
Now, the satellite, having a capacity of 1,600 megahertz and 40 transponders, will be launched in March, 2018, said State Minister for Posts and Telecommunications Tarana Halim.
Talking to UNB, Tarana said, “We’ll start celebrating on March 1 throughout the country marking the launching of the first-ever Bangladeshi satellite. Thousands of billboards will be set up as part of the campaign to inform the country’s people over the benefits of the satellite.”
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will launch satellite through a videoconference from Bangabandhu International Convention Centre in Capital, she added.
At the beginning of 2017, the State Minister said the 4G internet service will be introduced in the country by the end of the year.
However, the ministry could not maintain the deadline despite having approval from the Prime Minister as the mobile phone operators lodged some 23 conditions over the guideline made for introducing the high-speed internet service.
“Most of the conditions, excluding one or two, have already been disposed of in consultation with the mobile phone operators. Some major changes have been brought in the guideline taking approval from the PM,” said Tarana adding that the service will finally be introduced in February, 2018.
Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has fixed January 14 as the last date for submitting the application to get licence for providing 4G service, said BTRC Chairman Dr Shahjahan Mahmood.
The auction for selling the spectrum of the 4G service will be held on February 14, Mahmood added.
Two overseas companies have expressed interest to take part in the auction and submit application to get licence, said the BTRC boss. However, he did not disclose the names of the two foreign companies.
Posts and Telecommunications Ministry had also set a target to install Mobile Network Portability System (MNPS) by the end of 2017. However, the service will now be inaugurated in April, 2018.
On November 30, the BTRC handed over the licence to Infozillion BD Teletech Consortium Ltd, a joint venture of Bangladesh and Slovenia, for implementing the much-awaited MNP service.
Once installed, the quality of the mobile network service will be increased, Tarana hoped.
The MNP service that enables the mobile telecom customers to change operators without changing the numbers has already been introduced in 72 counties, including India and Pakistan.
On the other hand, the government successfully completed SIM card registration process through Biometric system within this year aiming to reduce terrorist activities through mobile phone.
Tarana said the government has been relentlessly working to ensure a smooth mobile network service for the countrymen. “We’ll do everything to provide a smooth network to people within a minimum cost,” she added while talking to UNB.
The BTRC has already set up fiber optical cable in some 330 upazilas of the country, said the state minister adding the high-speed cable will be installed in all upazilas gradually to take internet facilities to every village.
“We’ve already ensured data speed of five megabits per second. Our next target is to reach 15 mbps,” Tarana informed.