News From Telecom World

AKTEL enchances its `Technological know-how’

Posted on: November 11, 2008

Editorial by Mehdi Musharraf Bhuiyan. Published on 9th Nov ‘08, Financial Express, Information Technology Weekly.

Equipped with the newly forged partnership with the Japanese telecom giant NTT DoCoMo, mobile phone operator AKTEL is aiming to enhance its ‘technological know-how’ as the company is looking for a rebound in the country’s competitive telecom market.

“Our new partner NTT DoCoMo is one of the world leaders in the international telecom market in terms of technological capacity and competence, so obviously we will get benefited with a greater accessibility to their expertise and business experience,” AKTEL Managing Director Jefri Ahmad Tambi told recently.

“We are exploring various fields of cooperation; but sharing of the technological know-how and thus the strengthening of our company’s hitech base in the local market is certainly one of our major concerns,” Tambi said.

Japanese mobile phone operator NTT DoCoMo bought last month AKTEL’S 30 per cent share from AK Khan and Co Ltd; beating competitions, Etislalat and Vodafone. The deal is estimated at worth around US$ 350 million.

The remaining 70 per cent of the company’s share is owned by TM International Bhd, which was spun off Telekom Malaysia Bhd., in April 2008.

The takeover ushered the emergence of an international leader in the country’s already booming and highly competitive telecom market.

However, replying to a query regarding the recent buzz around the possible introduction of 3g mobile in the country, the AKTEL Managing Director informed that his company had started market analysis to evaluate whether the local market is ready for the introduction of 3G mobile phone.

“At the moment, we are assessing the Bangladeshi market to evaluate the market potential of 3G mobile phone in the country. Once we find that the introduction of 3G would be viable for the local market, AKTEL would certainly move forward with such business plan,” he asserted.

“We would like to sit with our partners at DoCoMo by the end of this month to explore areas of cooperation and sharing,” Jefri said.

3G or the third generation of mobile phone offers its users wide-area wireless voice telephony, high-speed internet access and video telephony, among other things. NTT DoCoMo was the first company to introduce 3G commercially in 2001 remains a world leader in the field with 44 million subscribers to its 3G service FOMA.

Starting its journey in 1997 as a joint venture between Telekom Malaysia Bhd and AK Khan & Company Ltd, AKTEL over the course of time has become the third largest mobile phone operator in the country with a subscriber base of around 7.8 million

The company slipped from the second position earlier this, facing a tough competition from rival players.

Through its takeover of AKTEL, NTT DoCoMo- Japan’s biggest mobile phone operator has entered a market, which is growing at a rate faster than Japan.

With 38.93 million subscribers in March this year, Bangladesh, according to estimates, is among the 10 fastest growing mobile phone markets in the world. In 2007 the Bangladesh market registered a staggering 58 percent growth.

Investment in the country’s mobile phone market was set to top US$ 3.4 billion in June 2008 according to an Asian Development Bank (ADB) estimation done earlier this year.

Source: Financial Express

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