May 22, 2008

WiMAX to reduce digital gap between rural and urban Bangladesh

Introduction of WiMAX would have a synergetic effect on rural Bangladesh, an emerging market for the technology, Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (BTRC) experts and leading international vendors said at a meeting here last week.

BTRC, the telecom watchdog, announced in the two day meet that it would issue WiMax license this year.

Experts from Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco, Huawei, Intel, Motorola, Nokia and Siemens in the city to explore the business prospects of WiMAX, attended the meet.
WiMAX or the Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access, is a telecommunications technology for providing wireless data across long distances through point-to-point links, with full access to mobile phones.

The Wimax service, reaching Bangladesh rather late, will draw about 10,000 users by the end of 2008 and over 200, 000 by the end of 2010.

WiMAX is replacing traditional phone technologies across the world the experts said at the meet.
BTRC Chief Major General (Retd) Manzurul Alam said WiMAX will definitely unleash the Internet, creating a new optimism for Bangladesh. Being a densely populated country the technology is expected to prove better results to Bangladesh than many western countries, he added.

Dr. M. Zafar Iqbal of Shahjajal University of Science and Technology in his presentation explained WiMAX as a dynamic provider of communication to link distant places, how it works, and the position of Bangladesh in the global information super highway network.

WiMAX, he expects, would be able to bridge the gap of existing digital divide and requested the regulators to ensure that it does not become a monopoly business.

WiMAX, 30 times faster than 3G mobile technology and 100 times faster than wireless data rates, can solve the problems of rural connectivity. WiMAX can replace GSM and CDMA cellular phone technologies, or increase capacity, used as a layover. It has been used as a wireless backhaul technology for 2G, 3G, and 4G networks in both developed and developing countries.

As Bangladesh's Telecom Industry is booming with a growing middle-class, experts expect a big demand for broadband wireless services and WiMAX. Bangladesh will have around 12 million WiMAX subscribers by 2012, they expect.


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