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Grameenphone network quality under fire from Bangladeshi minister

Grameenphone has been publicly slammed by Bangladesh’s State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam over its network quality.

In a Facebook post, the minister wrote: “What is the problem with GP [Grameenphone]? Impossible to make calls. Call drops. Couple of months ago they used to send apology SMS after call drop. No trace of that even; also very poor network at Arani.”

The minister added that he had instructed the operator to assess its network quality 2 years ago, but no improvement was apparent.

Tarana Halim, State Minister for Post and Telecommunication, expressed his agreement by commenting on Alam’s post: “I have been repeatedly asking [Grameenphone] to improve their service quality. I have also asked Telenor. It seems they are more interested in making money than providing quality service.”

Grameephone is majority owned by Norwegian firm Telenor, which holds a 56% stake in the unit. Talat Kamal, a representative from the operator, confirmed to the press that the operator had registered the minister’s complaint and would take steps to rectify the situation immediately.

The operator leads the Bangladeshi mobile market with 54 million connections, giving it a 42% market share. In 2014 it upped capital expenditure by 20% to BDT15.2 billion ($191 million) in order to speed up the deployment of its 3G network, which it claims covers all 64 of the country’s districts.

Despite this, at the end of the third quarter only 13% of its subscribers had 3G connections.

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