Telenor's mobile arm in Bangladesh, GrameenPhone Ltd., celebrates another important milestone, reaching no less than three million subscribers.
Telenor's mobile arm in Bangladesh, GrameenPhone Ltd., celebrates another important milestone, reaching no less than three million subscribers. GrameenPhone started operations in Bangladesh in 1997.
"This is extremely exciting, and we are very happy that as many as three million users until now have made GrameenPhone their preferred mobile phone service provider. I humbly thank each and every one of them," said Erik Aas, CEO of GrameenPhone. "We see a tremendous growth at present, and I reiterate our commitment that GrameenPhone will continue to work hard to always provide high quality services to our valued customers."
It took GrameenPhone six years to reach the one million subscriber mark in August 2003, about one more year to reach the second million mark in September 2004 and just about six months to attain the present three million subscriber mark.
Being the largest telecommunications service provider in the country, GrameenPhone is playing a crucial role in increasing the country's mobile telephone penetration rate, which is still one of the lowest in the world with less than four telephones per 100 people.
Along with the spectacular growth, since its inception on March 26, 1997, GrameenPhone has the widest coverage in Bangladesh. The company is planning to increase the network coverage to 80 percent of the population from the current 55 percent within this year.
GrameenPhone has also recently started to deploy 1800 MHz frequency base stations in addition to the GSM 900 MHz stations now in use. "This will greatly improve the quality and further enhance the call-handling capacity of the base stations and will further improve the overall customer experience," said CEO Erik Aas.
The internationally acclaimed Village Phone Program of GrameenPhone is another unique initiative, which provides telephone services in remote rural areas where no such facilities existed before. This initiative also provides the Village Phone operators, mostly poor village women, a good income-earning opportunity. There are now more than 110,000 Village Phones in operation in some 44,000 villages around the country.