Banglalink shuts off 3G network to focus on 4G expansion

Banglalink shuts off 3G network to focus on 4G expansion
Image credit: Kabiur Rahman Riyad | Unsplash

Veon-owned Bangladesh operator Banglalink said on Thursday that it has become the first mobile operator in the country to phase out 3G services as it shifts focus to boosting performance of its 4G network.

Banglalink said the phaseout of 3G frees up spectrum and network resources that can be repurposed for its 4G network, which had 21.5 million subscribers by the end of the first quarter of 2024.

Banglalink also said that its 4G network population coverage has grown from 60% at the end of 2020 to 88% at the end of March this year.

Earlier this week, Chinese vendor ZTE revealed it has signed a strategic agreement with Banglalink to supply solutions to improve the operator’s 4G coverage and network capacity.

Banglalink CEO Erik Aas said the operator is now free to focus on improving the user experience for 4G, particularly for “multiplay” customers that also subscribe to its digital services such as entertainment platform Toffee, which currently has 8.4 million monthly active users.

“By reallocating more resources to 4G, we will take the customer experience to new heights and enhance our customers' 4G experiences,” Aas said in a statement.

According to the Daily Star, rival operator Robi Axiata is also preparing to shut off its 3G network “within a month”.

In its most recent results for Q1 2024, Robi Axiata said it has over 35 million 4G subscribers, and that its 4G network covers 98.8% of the population.

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