A webinar on the prospects of 5G technology and the challenges ahead styled as ‘5G: Ecosystem in Bangladesh and upcoming technologies' was organized by Telecom Reporters' Network Bangladesh (TRNB) on September 25, 2021.
The Posts and Telecommunications Division Minister Mustafa Jabbar was present at the webinar as the chief guest while Shyam Sunder Sikder, Chairman, Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC), graced the occasion as the special guest. A K M Shahiduzzaman, Commissioner, BTRC, and Chief of 5G Guideline Committee, was also present as the Guest of Honor.
Industry stakeholders delivered valuable speeches shedding light on different aspects and challenges of rolling out 5G technology in the country. Yasir Azman, CEO, Grameenphone; M Riyaaz Rasheed, Acting CEO, Robi; Erik Aas, Chairman of AMTOB and CEO, Banglalink; Md. Shahab Uddin, MD, Teletalk; Colin Shi, CTO, Huawei Bangladesh, and Abdus Salam, Country Manager, LM Ericsson (Bangladesh), were present at the webinar and delivered insightful speeches. The keynote speech was delivered by Samir Kumar Dey, General Secretary, TRNB, whereas the webinar was moderated and presided over by Rased Mehedi, President, TRNB.
Posts, Telecommunications, and Information Technology Minister Mustafa Jabbar said, “The process of launching 5G technology is a planned effort of the government. Teletalk will launch 5G technology by December. It will expand later. We will also see other operators rolling out 5G within 2022.”
Noting that the success of technology cannot be achieved without the involvement of the people, he added that the people need to be motivated and involved in the process. The media can play an important role in this regard.
He went on to say, “The technology of the Fourth Industrial Revolution will be 5G. We have already tested 5G through Huawei and Robi, which has boosted our confidence. Through this, we have been able to prove that we will not be lagging behind even an inch as far as adopting 5G technology is concerned.”
Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) Chairman Shyam Sunder Sikder said, “The matter of launching 5G in Dhaka city within this year is in the final stage. To this end, the state-owned mobile operator Teletalk has started making preparations. Works related to the formulation of a broadband policy are also underway. Before finalizing it, we will sit down with all the stakeholders and their views will be taken.”
AKM Shahiduzzaman, Commissioner, BTRC, and Head of the 5G Guidelines Committee, said at the webinar, “The BTRC has already formed a committee comprising operators, telecom sector stakeholders, and law enforcement agencies on the 5G issue. Work is underway to create a common guideline for mobile operators, which will contribute to the mass adoption of 5G. BTRC is working on allocating waves at comparatively low prices in consideration of the standards followed by different countries of the world. And any decision in this regard will be finalized in consultation with the operators.”
“5G is going to be the next determiner of telecom services. In this case, BTRC or the operators alone will not be able to bring benefits. We need concerted efforts. Because technological, spectrum, as well as infrastructural development, are very important to reap benefits of 5G”, opined M Riyaaz Rasheed, Robi's Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
Grameenphone's Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Yasir Azman said, “This event organized by TRNB is very encouraging and time-befitting. All those involved in the telecom industry are working together to develop a 5G ecosystem. Technology, devices, infrastructure, and spectrum are complementary to each other for reaping the benefits of 5G. It is important to keep in mind how affordably spectrum can be allocated to ensure 5G.”
Erik Aas, Chairman of AMTOB and CEO, Banglalink, shared, “TRNB is a very important origination for 5G technology development. 5G needs to be looked at from an application point of view. To that end, the spectrum policy needs to be addressed rightly by keeping the user experience in mind.”
“We try to start 5G by the end of December 2021. We need device capability, handset capability, and high-quality fiber for 5G. Moreover, 5G's spectrum need is more than 4G. Wherever we need 5G connectivity, we will go there and set up smooth network”, said Md. Shahab Uddin, Managing Director, Teletalk.
Tao Guangyao, COO, Huawei Technologies (Bangladesh) Limited, said, “4G has changed lives, 5G will change the society. 5G will deliver what 4G and earlier networks couldn't do. 5G is also essential for upgrading service experience and fueling the digital and intelligent transformation of industries.”
Abdus Salam, Country Manager, LM Ericsson (Bangladesh), said, “5G basically needs 1800-2100 frequency. We have a scope of dynamic spectrum sharing. We are waiting for the BTRC license and looking forward to implementing all the networks and technologies for 5G connectivity.”
Samir Kumar Dey, keynote speaker of the event and General Secretary of TRNB opined, “By 2025, every application will be dependent on 5G (wireless robot, car, transportation, and smart manufacturing). Our whole livelihood would be under 5G connectivity by 2025. So, investment in the ICT sector of Bangladesh should be increased in order to give our users the best experience and ensure cyber safety.”
Rashed Mehedi, President, TRNB, said, “BTRC is making a guideline for 5G network in Bangladesh. We hope that we can achieve a 5G network by this year.”
The webinar came to an end with a call to the government for mapping out detailed plans in consideration of the challenges faced by the telecom operators and coming up with an industry-friendly policy framework to expedite the adoption of 5G technology.