April 16, 2009

WiMAX Speed In Bangladesh - Expectation and Misconception

Recently I was searching through the net to find out the news and results about WiMAX deployment in Bangladesh. As WiMAX is a new technology with so many hope and expectation related to it regarding performance and capability to provide higher bandwidth, I found so many people are also using Google a lot to search information about WiMAX deployment in Bangladesh. My search came to a temporary halt , when I started browsing through wimaxian.com and start reading the article BanglaLion to Start WiMAX Service in Bangladesh from 1st June. Quoting some information From the Article:

BanglaLion said it would be ready to launch WiMAX services in Dhaka by June. Apparently they will be the first company to provide WiMAX service in Bangladesh.
Along with its rollout plan, BanglaLion disclosed its tariff plan at a seminar on ‘WiMAX for Digital Bangladesh’ held at the Bangladesh China Friendship Conference Centre, on the sidelines of the BCS Digital Expo-2009.
The company said customers can get minimum 128Mbps round the clock by connecting BanglaLion’s WiMAX modem, which costs only Tk3,000 (USD 43.45).
The monthly connection fee would be Tk600 (USD 8.69).But we check at BanglaLion official website (www.banglalion.com.bd), they offer only one speed connection 128 kbps (kilo bit per second) from 1st June,2009. It’s equal to 16 kBps (kilo byte per second). "

With all these information many people conduct their comments. Most of them are conncern that BanglaLion informed user will get 128Mbps in the seminar but they advertised 128Kbps in their website. Even Mr Afzal Zahir, BanglaLion, GM Marketing (Not sure though) claimed that “Hopefully BanglaLion will provide WiMAX speed at 128Mbps not 128kbps”. I found it really funny. Actually there is a serious misconception among the Internet user and also many professionals about WiMAX and its speed.

Here are some simple Information about WiMAX speed and Bandwidth price in Bangladesh:
  • First of all Bandwidth should be calculated as Kbps or Mbps not KBps or MBps [Always calculate bandwidth in bit (b) rather than Byte (B) where 1 Byte = 8 bit]
  • WiMAX standard define WiMAX is capable to provide 72 Mbps over 72 Km [Depending on channel size and base station power]
  • Bandwidth Per Sector (Approximate) (3.74 x 10 x .8)= 29.92Mb Where 3.74 (constant), 10 (Channel Size= 10 MHz) and .8 is 80 % Utilization [if we assume that WiMAX provider plan their channel size 10 MHZ]
  • TDD system are used in WiMAX deployment in Bangladesh. So one can expect that Max Upload and Download Speed Should be half of the total Bandwidth that is around 15 Mb per sector.
  • If four Sector is used, one particular POP can provide maximum of (4 x29.92)=120 Mb of Bandwidth. But Still a consumer can connect only one Sector at a time.
  • As of Now price of 1 Mbps Full Duplex (Download/Upload) submarine cable Bandwidth provided by BTCL is around 27,000 +15 % vat= Tk 31050 (Approximate) which is equivalent to around USD 453.
So even if WiMAX provider allocate the full bandwidth of a sector to a particular Client, he should get Maximum of 15 Mbps download speed. So it is not possible to provide 128 Mbps in WiMAX technology. And again from the pricing aspect, I don’t know how BanglaLion will provide 128 kbps in only USD 8.69. At that rate they can sell eight 128 kbps link which is equivalent to 1 Mbps (8 x 128 kbps = 1024 kbps or 1 Mbps) and the price will be (8.69 x 8 = 69.52) which is way below the buying price. So I am expecting they will provide shared bandwidth instead of dedicated.

Please correct me if I am wrong?


amar11372 said...

Because Wimax providers can do 8:1 contention ratio, meaning a single connection will be shared by at maximum 8 people. (In the UK they do 50:1 so it not that bad in BD) so ..."price of 1 Mbps Full Duplex = Tk 31050 = USD 453."

by selling 8.69 x 8 = 69.52 and multiply that by 8 people so its $560. 560-453= $107 + other expanse

Aguere(France Telecom) is another wimax provider, but it has its over submarine cables so it wouldnt need to rely on BTCL's expansive prices.

amar11372 said...

meant to say "but it has its own submarine cables so it wouldn't need to rely on BTCL's expansive prices"

Hamidur said...

Thanks Amar for your reply. Thats what I talking about. The problem is that user wil get less than 128 kbps which is not desired at all to most of the people as same type of packages are already available. Why switch to another, if I already have the same?


amar11372 said...

According to licensing agreement Wimax users must get at least 128 kbps (16KB). Also the price of "1 Mbps Full Duplex = Tk 31050 = USD 453" is not fully correct because that's the price for IPLC, which ICT/software companies and call centers use not Large ISP's. Large ISP's like Banglalion, GrameenPhone, Aktel, Citycell, Citcho, smile, ISN, Agni, BD Online, and such buys bandwidth in large bulk quantities from BTCL so they pay way less than Tk 31050 = USD 453. And that price is not publish in their website. So you nor I will know those negotiated prices.

-So a wimax user will get minimum 128kb but in the future when they start 512 kb, 1mbps and higher speed those will be shared (just like every country does) By the way what price do you pay for broadband?

Hamidur said...

"Also the price of "1 Mbps Full Duplex = Tk 31050 = USD 453" is not fully correct" - Please refer to http://www.btcl.gov.bd/home/main/rates/tarif_2008.pdf page 6. Slab 1 Price 27000 + 15% VAT = 31050 (USD 68.5). Of course WiMax provider is expected to take Slab 4 (22000 w/o VAT) which is still 369/Mbps. May be in future it wil also decrease.

Also they can sell 100 Mbps to more than 400/ 500 Mbps because of the contention ratio.

As related to broadband industry for long time, I found that it may possible to maintain 1:3 contention ratio to provide a dedicated type bandwidth from the fact that only one-third users are found online at a time. 69.52 multiply by 3 is 208 which is still pretty low than buying price. May be with hundreds of Mbps this dedicated type contention ratio increase by 1:6 or higher. But still with 31 million dollar license fee, few hundred million dollar for deployment, revenue sharing with government, other operationg expenses and so on how could they be benefitted?

They are not doing charity. Right?

amar11372 said...

-I am positive that those slab prices are for IPLC not Wholesale Bandwidth for Large ISP's. They get much larger discount. And yeas even with 8:1 contention ratio (sharing with 8 people) people will still get full speed because 1) not everyone will be on at the same time and 2) not everyone will need international bandwidth (the BD Internet exchange will route all domestic demand). Also Augure dont even have to pay for the bandwidth since they own their own submarine cable. They will be able to under cut Banglalion.

-As for the financials, I do believe these wimax companies can be hugely profitable. Not only can they sell data, they can also sell VoIP (mobile) and IPTV. By my calculation they will need at least 300,000 users to break even. This shouldn't be too tough, after all there are 46,000,000 mobile phone users in BD.

-At the end of the day, the consumers will benefit due to competition. GP,aktel, and mobile companies will eventually go with LTE (4G). With all these competitors, internet prices should be among the lowest in the world following the trend of mobile call prices (tk7 to tk1 per minute in 7 years). But it will take some time.

Hamidur said...

Thanks. But I am also poitive about those slab prices for ISP.Coz I myself is in broadband industry and is associated with buying bandwidth from BTCL (former BTTB) since they first connected to submarine cable when 1 Mbps full duplex bandwidth was 75000 Tk. Any ways this debate may go on and on.

New opportunities like video surveillance, IPTV, Online University other so many application can be possible with WiMAX. Technically it is possible. About prices? ok. We will see later what they do. But this article mainly for those who are thinking of getting 100 Mbps (or so) with WiMAX in low price. As we have friends all around the world who are using 2 Mbps or more link in home usages in low price, our expectation also became the same (or sometimes more like 100 Mbps :) ). Here i Just wanted to inform that WiMAX will provide High Speed, no problem, But dont expext anything that is beyond technically feasible.

In terms profit or loss, i think , time will say.

amar11372 said...

That 100 Mbps was probably a mistake. You need fiber to reach those speed. With wimax its most likely 10 Mbps in 2 miles radius.

Anonymous said...

Right about fiber ...

Hamidur said...

May be they mention 128 Mbps by mistake, but still general expectation for WiMAX was too high even before they arrive.

Anonymous said...

Is it realistic that one day home user can get 1 mbps speed?

amar11372 said...

"Is it realistic that one day home user can get 1 mbps speed"

Yes. No problem reaching up to 10 mbps.

techinfo said...

R u all Okay??? How banglalion is going to provide 128KBPS(Kilo Bytes per second)??? that means they r providing 1 mbps/27,000 or may b less 22,000 taka's bandwidth for each client at only 600 tk per month.Huh ?? Then why couldnt Brac Net provide that as they purchase 250 mbps from BTCL every month?? all these r rubbish in bangladesh. Is there anyone here know how much BTCL pay for per mbps to the international submarine cable providers ??? its only 1160 tk or something for 1 mbps bandwidth but they sold it earlier at 75,000 tk per mb now a days 22,000 tk minimum.In uk a single user gets 20mbps download speed for only 2500 tk per month and here with 20 mbps 2-3 isp can b run (:-)

Hamidur said...

Thats where the bottleneck is.. The problem is not with the technology, but mainly with the price of bandwidth here in Bangladesh.

Anonymous said...

Can someone tell us_
What about Augre?
They have their own submarine line, did it reach Bangladesh? what about their kbps and line rent?

Is Banglalion going to upgrade the general line (tk 600)this way, 128 kbps> 512> 1Mbps? what is the timeline?

Did the government fix the pathway of speed?

Hamidur said...

Augere may have their own submarine cable but I don't think they have reached Bangladesh yet. And also not sure if BTCL will allow them to use their own cable as you know monopoly is always there.

Bangla Lion offers 128 kbps in Tk 600, but they may also offer other packages in future. Reagarding timeline, they advertised that they will start their service on June 2009. But not sure their infrustucture will be ready or not?

In BWA guideline, minimum 128kbps was stated, so they must provide atleast 128kbps, but don't think BTRC has any way to track that.

saint458 said...

It should be placed to the government immediately that if we really want to step ahead with global development process, bandwidth should reach to the people at original even cheaper price.

For sake of our future we must fight for our rights. BTCL has a big shit-loads of a bunch of incompetent employees. They are unnecessary wastage for us. It should be privatized immediately.

Anonymous said...

Saint458 ur absolutely correct!!

DA_POPE said...

we in Bangladesh pay ridiculous amount for internet and this is the highest price in entire Asia, I don't bluff this was published somewhere I cannot seem to recall at this moment.
say in Japan(though i know the comparison is a bit stark)a company provides WiMAX for what would convert 4000 BDT approximately.
40???? i mean c'mon earlier some of the more experienced personnel mentioned our price, i mean what's the use of staying in this country??? it's never even gonna be analog let alone digital.
those sitting in the chairs can talk the talk but can they walk the walk???

Anonymous said...

really ridiculous.if we want a digital Bangaldesh then we have to use and spread to the rural sides of our country.wimax is not suitable for them.How tell me they need a modem which is cost almost 3500/- atleast.3500/- is so costly for them.so wimax providers have to realise that.Otherwise we wouldnt able to get a Bangladesh which we all wanted for a long time.On the other hand our internet speed is too low or very costly if we wanna get high speed connection.But in india what type of speed they have got?i think their low speed is our high speed.we need to increase our net speed.I Want to spot attention to the BTCL pls dicrease ur demand.And then isps will able to provide us a high speed connection for a lower price.

Toxic Tort Law said...

What are the steps needed to deploy a wimax base station? Would it be similar to a wifi router?

Nasif said...

Link 3 is the real fiber optic to home broadband provider... Read the review here:

Anonymous said...

This is really a sad state for Bangladesh. From where I come from I get 1Mbps down/384 Kbps up mobile _dedicated_ broadband via 3/3.5G at only the equivalent of 1000BDT. That's only on the move, so at home I have a 12Mbps shared but fat line which provides minimum 800KB/s to even 3MB/s sometimes accelerated. And that's only around 3000BDT.

Bangladesh is 10 years behind in technology, and India maybe 5 years even though it's an IT hub, someone should take action. I don't know about the politics but I think it should be one of the reasons.

I have only one thing to say - WiMax is not the solution for Bangladesh (or Pakistan). In fact, it is the reverse. Just because it's a new technology your "professionals" wanted to pioneer it, but they did nothing but introduce more breadth in the digital divide of the rich and poor.

Anonymous said...

Banglalion WiMAX Sucks!! I can't upload batch photo, neither in facebook nor in flickr! আল্লাহর গজব পরুক অগো উপর! হুদাই টাকা গুলান গচ্চা গেলো!

Sonet said...

BTCL now Providing 1 Mbps bandwidth in only 12000BDT exclude VAT. Bangla lion & Qubee reduced their fees to 50%. I'm confused, actually how much should we pay for 1Mbps line. Anyone can help? I really want to know the analysis about the buying of bandwidth.

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