Ollo to invest $20m for 4G LTE rollout: CEO


1st April, 2017 05:31:01 printer

Ollo to invest $20m for 4G LTE rollout: CEO

Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) service operator Ollo plans to invest over US$ 20 million for 4G LTE (long term evaluation) network expansion in Bangladesh.

"We would make immediate investment of US$ 5 million for LTE network expansion in Dhaka and some other big cities," Ollo Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Sergey Topalov told BSS in an interview. 

He said Ollo is waiting for the clearance of telecom regulator for importing equipment to install nearly 30 new Base transceiver stations (BTSs) in the capital and some big cities by this year. 

"With the new BTSs, the total number of BTSs will be nearly 80, of which 50 will be in Dhaka while the remaining is in big cities and district towns," added Sergey. 

Mentioning that Ollo has already made investment of US$ 25 million for network and others, he revealed: "The operator plans to invest another US$ 15-20 million in next two years for BTSs." 

But, the operator feels vacuum of a roadmap for telecommunication sectors which would address all operators. 

The Ollo CEO said concerned authorities always talk about mobile network operators (MNOs) and "all work in this way, but we need clear condition for competition." 

"If today is announced one, tomorrow will be another kind of flexibility to MNOs that means we would have to revise our plan," he said, adding, "Master plan is needed for all operators in the sector, actually a clear roadmap, for instance, 2017 will be dedicated for frequency, 2018 for tech neutrality and 2019 will be MNOs and all."

Pointing out that all operators seek security for their investment, Sergey said: "Subsequently changes of policy might hamper the investment." 

Replying to a query regarding Ollo's go slow policy for business here, he said: "We were two different entities under a brand name, but now merged which has needed huge time due to clerical procedures and court cases." 

"Ollo is always interested to do business here, but bureaucratic problems and court cases made our investor afraid of investing money ... Actually, they need to know clear picture for future development of the company," opined the Ollo CEO.

Referring to the recent court verdict on 800 MHz, Sergey said all main problems have been eliminated and the remaining is possible to solve through discussion. "Now, we are ready to roll out LTE rapidly." 

Talking about their study about future of data business, he said actually it's a good market, but there should be a comfortable position in government (BTRC) for their investor. "If they (BTRC) provide comfort, it will be easy to deploy network."

Sergey also reveled that they have plan to build cooperation with MNOs to share high speed data as new technologies allow creating different identification in one SIM card.

"We can arrange SIM cards with two profiles that means customer can use voice communication using MNO and data using our network, and for this just need device which support LTE," said Ollo CEO, adding that discussion is going on with MNOs to this end. 

Bangladesh Internet Exchange Limited or BIEL got BWA license on November 21, 2013. BIEL is a result of merger of New Generation Graphics Limited in the form of accession to BIEL starting from October 8, 2014. Now, it is providing 4G LTE services in Dhaka, Jessore, Gopalganj, Sylhet, Mymensingh, Barisal and Rangpur.