July 21, 2009

Augere Gets Underway With WiMAX Today

With today's course of internet, the ambition of connecting rural Bangladesh will take decades to achieve. But WiMAX company Augere believes it can speed up the process and play significant role in realizing a "Digital Bangladesh". With this vision in mind, Augere launches its operation today. Augere chairman and CEO Sanjiv Ahuja turned up in Dhaka on Sunday to host the inauguration, said a press release of the organization.

Augere is the parent company of Augere Wireless Broadband Bangladesh Ltd which won BWA license in BTRC’s auction held in October 2008. Augere has put in over Tk 210 million in Bangladesh to offer broad WIMAX coverage throughout the major cities in Bangladesh. Augere currently has spectrum in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Uganda.

Sanjiv came to Dhaka to witness development made in installation, as the company imported network equipment,
moved into new office facility and also added Jerry Mobbs as CEO of Augere. “Our commitment is to ensure never before experienced internet facilities in the country," said Sanjiv.

Augere wants to start with a few customers and then add on before their commercial launch. Augere plans to expand their network and make it bigger and richer by covering larger parts of Dhaka to begin with, followed by other cities. At present, Augere can support a few thousand customers and have coverage in areas such as Baridhara, Basundhara, Banani and Gulshan.

“In Bangladesh, we see that half of the households have television, while an average refurbished or locally assembled PC is near the price of a television. What we are committed to provide is a service, which does not cost them a lot more then their average mobile phone bill.” Sanjiv said, explaining how rural communities would be benefited by technologies such as WiMAX.

He admitted that cost is a barrier today, but it's beginning to fade. Augere wants to work as a catalyst and get community centres, schools, hospitals, government facilities and banks in the rural areas by getting them on to the internet. Terming BTRC's projection to get 10 million people connected as realistic, the Augere CEO said the long-term vision should be to connect 50 percent of the country's population. “We will initially start with larger cities but rapidly, sometime next year, we want to move into the rural areas." said Sanjiv.

Talking on 3G licenses, he said “I think 3G is a wonderful technology and if customers use it as an alternative, then it is good to have competing propositions in the market. As I said, it is not about technology, it is about customer experience and affordability. If the mobile operators believe they can afford to build 3G networks and provide services at competitive prices with great customer experience, I welcome the competition.”

On existing ISPs, he said they would have an alternative and welcome them to use their technology. “Today they are using adhoc or reselling DSL. We are keen to have ISPs as partners in this business. I think it will encourage growth of the industry. We want ISPs to flourish and I think we are great news for them."

Augere was established in September 2007 by an experienced team of global telecoms executives, with the vision to deliver ‘broadband for all.’ It uses global telecommunications experience and strong local partnerships to deliver an affordable, ‘real’ broadband service to under-served customers and communities through WiMAX.

3 comments:

amar11372 said...

Augere will operate under the brand name QUBEE. Now just waiting for Banglalion to lunch.

Hamidur said...

@Amar

Thanks for the Information about Augere Brand. Can you please inform whether brand name QUBEE will be used in Bangladesh? Because I found they are promoting this brand in Pakistan.

amar11372 said...

They said they will be using QUBEE brand in all their countries of operation, even Uganda.

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