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Ericsson in mobile broadband pilot to improve Bangladeshi social/economic development

Rural telecoms in Bangladesh are set to enjoy a boost with the news that Ericsson is launching a pilot scheme to show how high-speed Internet - directed via 3G/HSPA - can enhance life in the country's rural communities.

Ericsson is launching a pilot in Bangladesh to demonstrate how to improve productivity and quality of life in the country with the use of high-speed Internet services through 3G/HSPA technology. The pioneering project, called Alokito Bangladesh (Enlightened Bangladesh), will demonstrate high-speed Internet access and a range of advanced services - including mobile health and mobile learning - in the region of the capital, Dhaka, from now to the end of October this year. Ericsson is seeking to showcase how the technology can be a major catalyst for social and economic empowerment by bridging the Digital Divide in this developing market.

Situated on the Brahmaputra River delta on the Bay of Bengal, this nation of 153.5 million people faces a number of economic and social challenges but it has also come a long way, achieving consistent GDP growth during the last ten years and telecommunications have played a pivotal role in this growth. The pilot will demonstrate m-learning through interactive long-distance classes led by remote teachers, while mobile health will demonstrate the potential of distance health care in the country, highlighting the potential benefits of bringing basic services to communities that lack them today. Other services included in the pilot are m-surveillance, video calling and entertainment.

Manzurul Alam, Chairman, Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) says: "BTRC is striving relentlessly to introduce affordable new technology services that benefit the Bangladeshi people. BTRC welcomes all initiatives that work towards unveiling new opportunities and building a modern and affordable ICT portfolio for Bangladeshi consumers. BTRC is happy to support Ericsson in its demonstration of 3G/HSPA technology. I believe there would be immense benefits for Bangladeshi telecom subscribers by gaining high-speed mobile Internet access through 3G/HSPA technology in the near future."

Arun Bansal, President, Ericsson Bangladesh, believes: "This pioneering project will showcase the full potential of broadband services for the first time in the country and how an efficient and affordable 3G/HSPA broadband service can help serve as a blueprint for the widespread introduction of internet connectivity."

Ericsson is conducting the 3G trial by using the site and transmission networks of three telecom operators - Warid Telecom International Bangladesh, Grameenphone, and Telecom Malaysia International (Bangladesh), which operates under the brand name AKTEL. Ericsson is using partners for m-learning and for mobile health in Bangladesh, which has an estimated 43 million mobile subscribers.

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