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Sunday, August 31, 2008

Zem Bundle Offer with Samsung C 160

Warid is bringing another attractive handset bundle offer for the prospective subscribers where they can get a prepaid zem connection with Samsung C160 for BDT 999 by purchasing BDT 4,000 worth of airtime.

Bundle details

Airtime validity

BDT 4,999
Samsung C160
BDT 4,000
Zem Start up
365 days

Airtime can be used for any type of voice and non-voice usage
Subscribers must not use this SIM and handset separately
If any SIM is used separately from the allocated handset, the whole airtime amount will be removed from the account
Voice call can be made on both on-net and off-net destination including BTCL local, NWD, IDD & EISD
This airtime will be placed in Main Account (MA) and can be checked by *778#
Unused airtime will still be available after the validity period with any amount of recharge or reload
Campaign’s handset is only available with the bundle offer

Monday, August 25, 2008

Nokia N85 and N79 Now Official

The two new Nseries members – Nokia N79 and Nokia N85 made their debut a day earlier than expected. Photos of the two devices and some more of their specifications appeared online today. They will both run the Symbian OS with S60 UI and will come with the Feature Pack 2 preinstalled.

Nokia N85 will have dedicated game keys and support for N-gage platform for a great gaming experience. The handset will pack an exiting 2.6” 16M AMOLED display, which will be the largest of its kind among GSM phones. In addition the N85 will feature a 5 megapixel camera, WLAN and 3G with HSDPA support. A microSD card slot will allow expanding the built-in memory. The built-in GPS will allow geo-tagging of the photos taken with the camera.

Nokia N85

The Nokia N79 is supposed to be a fashion-oriented handset with replaceable back covers. It will also come with a 5 megapixel camera, which will be complemented by a dual LED flash and a protective cover. Among the other features are Wi-Fi, GPS and 3G as well as a microSD card slot. A 4GB card is expected to come in the retail package.

Nokia N79

Both the Nokia N79 and Nokia N85 will be available as early as next month but their retail price is yet unknown. Stay tuned for the official announcement at 10:00 CET tomorrow.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Banglalink Crosses 10 Million Subscribers Mark

Banglalink, the second largest mobile operator in the country, on Wednesday announced that it reached the one crore subscribers mark. 'The milestone has been reached in only three and a half years of operation, which provides testimony to the company's rapid expansion that has made it the fastest growing mobile operator in the country,' said a press release of the company.

Rashid Khan, president and CEO of Banglalink, said, 'Orascom Telecom came to Bangladesh with the objective of becoming a major force in the market and that is exactly what has been achieved in such a short period of time.'

The release said that the company had so far invested more than $800 million in its network infrastructure and was continuing to invest further to ensure the highest quality service to customers 'Banglalink has the largest network of over 700 customer service points spread allover the country along with a passionate and vigilant team to provide quality and prompt service,' it said.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Warid Offers Bonus Talktime And SMS On Recharge

Warid Telecom is offering special bonus talk-time for its Zem prepaid users from today for recharging their accounts with scratch cards.
Under the offer, Zem prepaid subscribers can avail the bonus talk-time worth Tk 10 to Tk 175 by recharging their accounts with scratch cards of any denominations from Tk 50 to Tk 500.
Apart from that, the subscribers could also avail 10 to 175 free SMS on the basis of their recharges.
The latest offer will remain valid till August 31while the bonus talktime and free SMS will remain valid up to 30 days after the recharge.
The subscribers could use the bonus talk-time for making calls to other operators while the SMS can only be sent to Warid users.
Warid management believes the new bonus offer will encourage valued subscribers to recharge their accounts for enjoying the bonus talktime and SMS.
Since its commercial operation in Bangladesh in May 10, 2007, Warid Telecom, which invested US$500 million to establish the state-of-art Next Generation Network (NGN), has acquired over 3.0 million subscribers through spreading its network to 64 districts. Warid has aggressive plans to further invest and roll out extensive coverage across Bangladesh.

Three WiMax Licences End Of September In Bangladesh

Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) said it will award three WiMax licences by the end of next month in a bid to revive the country's internet broadband market.

WiMAX is a wireless digital communications system, which can provide broadband wireless access across 30 miles for fixed phone, and 3 - 10 miles for mobile stations.

The telecom regulator already asked for proposal from the interested companies to take part in the coming auction.

The commission said it will allocate 30MHz (megahertz) spectrum to each WiMax operators to provide high-speed broadband services.

"We are now working for conducting WiMax auction, due in September," said a high official of BTRC.

Citing an example, he said India is planning to hold 3G auctions within a very short time. Asked when 3G, another high-speed broadband access, will be introduced in Bangladesh, he said procedure for 3G licences already started and it might come to the market by the end of this year.

Like WiMax, the BTRC also plans to award three 3G licences for the 45million telephone users market.

According to BTRC plan, maximum 60 of FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) or foreign partnership or investment from NRBs (Non-Resident Bangladeshis) with local entrepreneur licencees (excluding licenced cellular mobile operators from the commission) is eligible for WiMax bid.

Talking to The Daily Star, M A Salam, president of Internet Service Provider Association Bangladesh (ISPAB), said, "Bangladesh is also an emerging market for WiMAX (World Wide Interpretability for Microwave Access) technology".

He said WiMAX is a dynamic solution to establishing long-haul data communication link to distant areas and by this technology people can get e-heath, e-education and e-business related services sitting in the remote areas.

Meanwhile, the 3G licences are likely to be awarded to the three existing mobile phone operators out of the six.

The top three mobile operators--Grameen, Banglalink and AKTEL-- already said they may go for 3G as it costs less to introduce.

BTRC officials said they want a competitive bid for both WiMax and 3G. They said already some renowned multinational companies visited BTRC and showed their interest to take part in the WiMax bid.

According to industry people, only 10 lakh people of the country with a population of 15 crore now have internet connections.

3G Trails Launched In Bangladesh

3G pilot by Ericsson

Ericsson has launched a pilot project in Bangladesh to exhibit how use of high speed internet services trough 3G/HSPA technology can improve productivity and quality of life.
The launch of the project titled 'Alokito Bangladesh' was held Sunday at the city's Westin Hotel. 3G is the third generation of mobile phone standards and technology, superseding 2G, and preceding 4G. It enables network operators to offer users a wider range of more advanced services like video calls, television and on-demand video along with hi-speed broadband internet and data transmission, all in a mobile environment. Special assistant to chief adviser for post and telecommunication MA Malek attended Sunday's programme as chief guest, while retired major general Manzurul Alam, chairman of Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission, was special guest. The special assistant said 3G technology would help cut poverty as it would facilitate the proliferation of e-commerce through high- speed mobile internet. "The initiative would help the government to formulate the guidelines for licensing 3G technology," he added. BTRC chief Manzurul Alam said he believed 3G would bridge the gap between the 'have and have not' of the country. "BTRC is striving relentlessly to introduce affordable new technology services that benefit the Bangladeshi people." He said BTRC welcomed all initiatives that work towards revealing opportunities to build a modern and affordable ICT portfolio for Bangladeshi consumers.Managing director of Ericsson Bangladesh, Arun Bansal, said the project would showcase how an efficient and affordable 3G/HSPA broadband services could help serve as a blueprint for widespread introduction of internet connectivity. Ericsson is conducting the 3G trial by using the networks of Warid Telecom, Grameen Phone and Aktel. Jahangir Nagar University School and Apollo Hospital are Ericsson's partners for E- learning and E-medicine. Ericsson, a leading provider of technology and services to telecom operators, runs 167 networks in more than 100 countries.

GP agrees to pay Tk250cr fine for illegal VoIP business

Grameenphone, the country's largest mobile phone operator, agreed to pay Tk250crore (around $36.5million) to the telecom watchdog yesterday for its involvement in illegal call termination through VoIP.

Grameenphone, which is mainly run by World's one of the leading telecom operator Telenor, already paid Tk50crore ($7.3million) to the telecom regulator and by October it will pay the rest of the amount, according to a deal signed with the Bangladesh Telecom-munications Regulatory Commission (BTRC).

This is not the first time Grameenphone will pay fine for the illegal business. The company earlier paid Tk168 crore for VoIP (voice over internet protocol) use. VoIP is a technology that allows someone to make voice calls using a broadband internet connection instead of a regular (or analog) phone line.

"We deeply regret that such unlawful practice was carried out and not disclosed earlier by Grameenphone," said Anders Jensen, chief executive officer of the Grameenphone in a written statement to the press.

“We have cooperated with BTRC in the investigations and the Grameenphone board also conducted an investigation by an external auditor to look into all aspects of our operations to ensure that we fully comply with all laws and regulations," he said.

Norway's Telenor and Bangladesh's Grameen Telecom hold 62 percent and 38 percent stakes in the Grameenphone respectively. Grameenphone, with over 20.86 million subscribers, has submitted a proposal to the capital market watchdog recently to offload its shares worth $300million in the capital market by September this year.

On January 16 this year, the BTRC filed a case against 10 former and in service high officials including two former CEOs of Grameenphone, accusing their involvement in illegal VoIP.

According to the FIR, the accused former Grameenphone officials are Erik Aas and Ola Ree, chief executive officers, Thor Randhaug, technical director, Yogesh Sanjeev Malik, chief technical officer, and Mehboob Chowdhury, director, sales and marketing.

Khalid Hasan, director (regulatory and corporate affairs), Md Shafiqul Islam, chief technical officer, Kafil HS Muyeed, director (new business), Md Arif Al Islam, director finance, and Espen Wiig Warendroph, head of revenue assurance, were also accused.

Grameenphone, AccessTel, a local internet service provider, and Malaysia-based international call carrier DiGi Telecommunications are also on the accused list.

In the FIR, the telecoms regulatory body said these three companies and individuals were involved in providing international call termination facility or VoIP.

Talking to the Daily Star, Major General Manjurul Alam (rtd), chairman of BTRC said the commission imposed the fine based on valid documents and equipment seized from Grameenphone office.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Nokia N85 Live Picture

Nokia N85, a new Nseries smartphone that has not been officially announced yet by Nokia, has been approved by the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) and it should, sometime in the future, be released in the US.

The N85 comes with support for quad-band GSM frequencies (850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHz) as well as tri-band HSDPA frequencies (850 / 1900 / 2100 MHz), hence there should be no problem for any of the North American GSM carriers to launch it.

Of course, before the handset's commercial launch, Nokia first has to officially present it, but there are no details on the date this will happen.

Nokia N85 was first spotted on the Web at the beginning of June, together with another new Nseries smartphone - the N79 - and the Nokia Tube, the first touchscreen phone to come from the Finnish company.

Enlarge picture
Aside from the network frequencies, the features of N85 are not fully known. However, it's said that they include the following: a 5 Megapixel camera with dual flash and lens cover, secondary camera for video calls, built-in GPS and Wi-Fi. Moreover, the new smartphone will almost surely run on a Symbian S60 3rd Edition platform, packing lots of multimedia-oriented functions.

When it comes to design, the N85 is not quite an attractive device, although it kind of resembles the upcoming and officially presented N96, as it sports a similar dual-sliding form factor. The N85 might actually be the more affordable version of N96, targeting users who want an advanced smartphone but can't afford to pay too much for it (the N96 will retail for around 550 Euros or 850 USD, which is far from being a price that everyone can pay for a mobile device).

Anyway, until Nokia comes out with full details regarding its new N85 handset, we can't know anything for sure.

Wi-Fi Hotspot in Dhaka

Nokia opens Wi-Fi zones in Dhaka
The Wi-Fi zones are located in -
1. Kozmo Lounge at Dhanmondi
2. PM Lounge on Kamal Ataturk Road at Banani
3. NSIS at Shoppers World, Gulshan
4. Deja vu Café on Gulshan Avenue.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

UK Firm Keen To Introduce WiMax in Bangladesh

Augere, a UK-based broadband infrastructure developer, has expressed interests to introduce WiMax technology in Bangladesh.

Sanjiv Ahuja, chief executive officer of the company, yesterday met the telecoms regulator chief and expressed his desire to work with Bangladesh in setting up satellites in orbit.

Augere is a new company headquartered in London and it focuses on broadband internet infrastructure development.

According to Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) officials, Ahuja, who is also chairman of UK- based Orange Telecom, showed keen interest to be involved in Bangladesh's telecoms sector."

Ahuja's new company, Augere, will undertake processes to acquire license for WiMax, said BTRC officials.

WiMAX is a wireless digital communications system, which can provide broadband wireless access across 30 miles for fixed phone, and 3 - 10 miles for mobile stations.

According to BTRC plans, they will introduce WiMAX license 29 October and 3G by this year.

The Bangladesh government recently announced its plans to send satellites of its own into earth's orbit to develop the sky communication infrastructure.

AKTEL Share Offloading By End Of 2008

AKTEL, the country's third largest mobile operator, has said it is now working on listing it on the capital market by the year-end, bringing another good news for the continued bearish market.

The company officials said the commitment made earlier to the Securities and Exchange Commission about the offloading of some portion of its shares would certainly be followed.

"We had a roadmap to go for public by the end of the year. We are working on it," Nora Junita Dato Seri Mohd Hussaini, chief financial officer (CFO) of AKTEL, told The Daily Star on Monday.

If the plan goes ahead, AKTEL will be the second telecom company to be listed on bourses within a very short gap after listing of the leading mobile operator, Grameenphone (GP), by September this year. The Telenor's majority stakeholder GP already submitted its IPO prospectus last week to the capital market regulator to raise $300million.

However, telecom market insiders question how can a company that is in the middle of transferring its 30 percent ownership will goes for IPO?

AKTEL's 70 percent is owned by Telekom Malaysia and the rest 30 percent will be bought by NTT DoCoMo, a Japanese telecom giant. The Japanese giant said it made a deal with TM in June to have 30 percent shares in AKTEL for $350million by December this year. AKTEL had 7.85million customer as of June 2008.

In the six mobile operators' market Grameenphone is the leader with having 20.31million subscribers, followed by Egypt based Orascom's Banglalink's 9.46million customers.

"Basically we are exploring different options. Of course, we made the commitment and we will do so when we are ready. We have started the groundwork on the IPO and we are hopping to do it on time," the AKTEL'S CFO said.

However, Nora did not agree to disclose how much money her company is planning to raise from the capital market. “It's very early to say something about this”, she said.

In an interview with the Daily Star in January this year, Yusof Annuar Yaacob, chief execuitve officer, Telekom Malaysia International, estimated that AKTEL is worth more than $1billon, but the company needs some extra time before it readies to list on the stock market.

"We may issue up to 10 percent of the company shares towards the public and AKTEL gets the cash," he hinted at that time.

Capital market experts welcomed the AKTEL's move after Grameen.

Mahmood Osman Imam, professor of Finance Department at the Dhaka University, said, “After Grameen, AKTEL's listing will help the market to enhance its absorption capacity. "

“And when such big players come into the market, manipulation by individuals reduces, as trade volume will be increased significantly," he added.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Aktel Friendship Day Offer

Friends make our lives more meaningful, more colorful & more valuable. A true friend makes our world a better place to live in. Friendship Day is celebrated in honor of those friends who make our lives so special.It is the day of celebration and a day to let your friends know how much they are needed and loved.For that, you should spend some extra time with your friends.

So, celebrate Friendship month with your FnF because AKTEL prepaid gives you...

15% bonus on only Tk.50 & Tk.100 recharge

25% bonus on only Tk.300 & Tk.600 recharge

Enjoy this bonus with 5 FnF (any operator)

Applicable for refills between Aug 01 ’08 – Aug 15 ’08

Bonus will be valid for 15 days from recharge

Recharge as many times and enjoy the bonus

Participants of the refill campaign will also enjoy –

1 month free subscription of GoonGoon

(Offer valid only for new GoonGoon subscribers)

There are more VAS offers available on this special occasion –

Song Dedication by dialing 8345

Friendship text greetings just by sending SMS as “G” to 8345

Friendship content downloads from AKTEL Spice (WAP)

3 IP telephony licenses for local firms by Oct

The country's telecom regulator yesterday (Sunday) said it decided to issue IP (internet protocol) telephony licences to three local internet service providers by October.
In a meeting with Internet Service Provider Association of Bangladesh (ISPAB), the telecom watchdog also said it already formulated a draft policy to introduce the internet-based telephony that uses the internet protocol's packet-switched connections to exchange voice.
However, the members of ISPAB urged the regulator to introduce IP telephony licences to all ISP licensees within a month.
The decision of the Bangladesh Telecommuni-cations and Regulatory Commission (BTRC) is basically a follow-up of ISPAB's last month reaction. ISPAB had blamed the regulator for delaying the licence issuance process.
"We will introduce IP telephony by October this year," said a BTRC official who attended the meeting and claimed that issuance of IP telephony licences has remained in the BTRC's roadmap of introducing new communication technology in the coming months.
Meanwhile, as per the International Long Distance Telecommunication Services (ILDTS) Policy 2007, the telecom regulator has to issue IP telephony licences to the country's internet service providers.
IP telephony is a general term for the technologies that use the internet protocol's packet-switched connections to exchange voice, fax and other forms of information that have traditionally been carried over the dedicated circuit-switched connections of the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). Using the internet, the voice calls travel as packets of data on shared lines, avoiding the tolls of the PSTN.
"The introduction of IP telephony will provide cost effective voice facilities along with other unique features that are comparatively expensive to provide by mobile or landline operators," said M A Salam, president of ISPAB.
Compared to other countries, Bangladesh is a late entrant to the world of IP telephony. Worldwide traditional phone technologies are being replaced with IP-based operations.
Salam said in the subcontinent, except Pakistan all other nations are enjoying IP telephony facilities. "The main advantage of IP phone is that it offers low-cost phone service," he said.
The ISPAB president explained that in traditional phone systems, when a number is dialed, a dedicated circuit is established between the two sides. This circuit remains occupied throughout the conversation. It is wastage of resources because nobody else can share the link. As a result, long distance calls are more expensive. But IP telephony eliminates this problem as it uses shared links to route packets to the destination.
Through the IP telephony services, anybody can make international calls. But ISPs need to be connected with international gateways for transferring calls. "We can enjoy IP phone service from any place, where internet access is available", the ISPAB chief said.
According to BTRC, so far a total of 200 ISP licences have been issued, whereas only 70 operators are providing services. Around a million people of the country have internet access.