In this fifth report on Mobile Network Experience in Bangladesh, we saw a tightly-fought competition for the awards between Banglalink and Grameenphone — and a lot of changes in the awards table. Grameenphone increased its award count at Banglalink’s expense, bringing it from one outright and two joint wins to three sole and two shared victories. It snatched the Video Experience away from Banglalink and broke out of a statistical tie with Banglalink for the Upload Speed Experience award, thus claiming both awards outright. Grameenphone also forced a statistical tie against Banglalink for the Download Speed Experience award, which resulted in a joint win for both. On a brighter note for Banglalink, the operator jointly wins the 4G Availability award for the first time, sharing it with previous winners Grameenphone and Robi.
Bangladesh is laying the groundwork for future commercial 5G deployments. The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) plans to run a 5G spectrum auction in March 2022. The regulator has already assigned 60 MHz in the 3.5 GHz band to state-owned operator Teletalk, to support 5G deployments — and Teletalk has begun trial 5G services in December 2021.
BTRC aims to boost the speeds of mobile users with revised guidelines raising the target for mobile internet speeds from 7 to 15 Mbps. The regulator has established a committee to consult with all the operators before proceeding with a formal proposal. Meeting these requirements will be challenging with the country’s substantial tax rates — higher than in India and Pakistan. According to the global mobile operators association — the GSMA — steep taxation often hampers network investment and innovations necessary for network improvement, expansion of rural coverage and future 5G adoption.
In this report, we have examined the mobile network experience of our users on the three nationwide mobile operators that own their own mobile network infrastructure — Banglalink, Grameenphone and Robi — over a period of 90 days beginning October 1, 2021, and ending December 29, 2021, to see how they fared.