Nokia and Teletalk, the largest telecommunications service provider in the country, have launched the country's first 5G network at Dhaka.

Bangladeshi men use their cellphones in Dhaka. (Photo by Munir UZ ZAMAN / AFP)

Nokia and Teletalk roll out 5G in Bangladesh

Nokia and Teletalk, the largest telecommunications service provider in the country, have launched the country’s first 5G network in Dhaka – a step that sets the foundation for next-generation mobile services.

Bangladesh is joining more than 60 other countries with the fifth generation of mobile internet connectivity. The country introduced 3G cellular technology in October 2012 and 4G technology in February 2018.

Bangladeshis to benefit from Nokia and Teletalk 5G network

The country has 17.69 million cellular subscribers and 12 million mobile Internet users among four cellular operators.

Only 28% of subscribers have used 4G networks, while the adoption of smartphones is 41%. Experts say that the technology is set to change how people use their phones and consume data for consumers and businesses.

Users will benefit from faster internet and smoother telecommunications services after introducing the 5G technology.

The commercial test will be rolled out through a cluster-wide deployment in the Dhaka metropolitan area at 200 locations by 2022, focusing on commercial and government offices.

The technology will help develop smart manufacturing through cloud-based wireless robotic control, wireless electronic health services, and live broadcasting in social networks.

“We’re thrilled to be the first company in Bangladesh to deliver 5G, as part of our broader vision for enhancing connectivity,” said Shafin Ahmed, CEO of Teletalk.

“5G is a major milestone for us and we look forward to furthering our efforts on introducing innovative technologies that improve the lives of consumers,” he added.

The technology behind the 5G roll-out

In the initial deployment phase, Nokia will provide equipment from its latest ReefShark System on Chip-powered AirScale equipment portfolio, including its 5G AirScale Digital Baseband Unit with a plugin capability to add capacity where it is needed.

It will also supply its high-performance 64TRX AirScale massive MIMO Adaptive Antennas to cover all deployment scenarios, including dense-urban environments and wide-area coverage.

“We are delighted to continue our longstanding partnership with Teletalk and take it into the 5G era. Teletalk and the Bangladeshi government have broad ambitions to drive societal change through a foundation of 5G networks. The network expansion and modernization initiative will help Teletalk attract new subscribers in the rural region and reduce churn in the urban areas. Our global experience will enable Teletalk to offer enhanced customer experience to its subscriber”, said Mark Atkinson, Senior Vice President, Radio Access Networks PLM at Nokia.

5G technology to change society

“4G has changed life, 5G will change society. And we are happy to be a part of this key initiative towards that journey. We shall partner with Teletalk to build the necessary infrastructure for a superior 5G network,” Kevin Xu, chief technical officer at Huawei Bangladesh, said in a statement.

“Initially, we have been chosen to provide more than 65% of initial 5G sites. Huawei has been working in Bangladesh to build a fully connected, intelligent nation for more than 21 years and we will responsibly continue this journey.”

The prime minister’s ICT affairs adviser, Sajeeb Ahmed Wazed, inaugurated the 5G service virtually as chief guest.