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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

"All your bags are packed you're ready to go", says GP to ISPs

Another one from bdnews24
Grameenphone, having above 60 percent market share until the first quarter of 2007, wants to solidify its position by diversifying with mobile internet services. GP has 14 million "Total Active" customers including 2.5 million "mobile internet" users, said the company’s chief marketing officer (CMO) Stein Naevdal Monday. "We may have sold a lot more connections but 14 million subscribers have been using our network at least for the last three months," Naevdal said while explaining the methodology of measuring his latest clientele in a press briefing in Dhaka. GP has added 1.887 million customers from April to June—the second highest net quarterly addition—as it bagged 2.032 million customers a year ago in Q2 of 2006. "Continuously declining tariff coupled with mass availability of new and refurbished handsets has been fuelling the mobile phone’s overall growth in Bangladesh." He said the call charges have been reduced by 78 percent since 2004 and the intensifying competition is likely to shrink it further. "Currently the lowest call charge is Tk 0.25 per minute while the highest is Tk 1.90 per minute in Bangladesh." If compared in the taka, the highest charge is Tk 3.20 and the lowest is Tk 0.20 in India. In Pakistan, the highest per minute tariff is Tk 1.40 and the lowest is Tk 0.90, GP’s CMO said. Considering the current trend, he said, Bangladesh will have 50 million mobile phone users in 2009 where GP aspires to have at least 30 million customers. GP is also moving full speed ahead with a staggering 2.5 million mobile internet customers, which is much larger than the country’s entire fixed internet users. Naevdal said lack of power and telecoms infrastructure in rural Bangladesh has prompted his company to respond with EDGE "to meet the huge unmet demand for data connectivity". But he refused to disclose the volume of total internet bandwidth GP consumes to cater to its 2.5 million mobile internet users. Brushing aside the Internet Service Providers’ allegation of being predatory to the market, GP’s CMO said his company has been doing business "strictly abiding by the law". But Naevdal admitted to subsidising the mobile internet business from his company’s voice earnings. Referring to the national long distance business, he said GP has a licence from Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission to resell the optical fibre capacity it has been leasing from Bangladesh Railway. But the ISP Association of Bangladesh believes otherwise. "Grameenphone can use the Railway’s telecoms infrastructure for its own operations but it does not have the licence to resell it," said ISPAB’s president MA Salam quoting BTRC.
So alarms bells are ringing for our internet service providers. When GP decides to diversify and taste the waters in different territory, many fishes of that water are bound to be consumed by the telecom shark/whale/dolphin..whatever you say. They had all the time in their hand to make the best use of their resources, the bandwidth, customer services and above all..stay united. Now they will fall under the sharp teeth of GP. I wonder how would Agni, ISN, BOL and other ISPs would stay alive in this situation? What would be their strategy? As per GP, they sniff something big and tasty in this data connectivity domain....that holds the key to sustain competitive advantage over long term, they want to go there before others wake up and catch up. That is evident in their recent newspaper ads and so much uhh ahhs about their internet services. GrameenPhone---the largest internet service provider of Bangladesh. Sounds new? but sounds good huh?

1 comment:

NAIM said...

Wireless connectivity (like-gprs/edge, wimax) is not suitable enough to download unlimited movies, play online games, live skypee video chatting. And the maximum internet user of our country taken internet connection for this purpose. Wireless internet service also disrupted due to frequency problem. So if anybody want to get smooth and dedicated internet connctivity then he/she must go for Broadband Cable Internet. Wireless connectivity never gives you the dedicated line. It always be shared and fluctuate. My past experience is not too good with wireless. So GP is not too big competitor of Broadband cable Provider as they capable to provide internet through Fiber-at-home to the Corporate offices, and the corporate officces alays prefer fiber connectivity who are the maximum user of Bandwidth in Bangladesh.