3G Technology in Bangladesh
|Abdullah Al Mahmud Shohag|
It is the improvement of science and technology that has made our life easier, given us immense opportunity to access to anyone we desire. Mobile phone, a wonderful invention of modern science, was first introduced in Bangladesh in the middle of 1990s. At that time only the rich people were blessed with that fascinating machine of communication. Now-a-days mobile phone has become a part & parcel of our everyday life and it is quite affordable to the poor people as well. Technology behind mobile phone has been changed several times and it’s an ongoing process. So far mobile phones have experienced 1G, 2G, 2.5, 3G and in some developed countries 4G technology. As 4G is yet to get a vast coverage, 3G is one of the most talked technologies in the present scientific world. Although developed and our neighbouring countries have been experiencing 3G for a handsome number of years, Bangladesh was not fortunate enough to have this technology so far. After a long cherished waiting, things have been changed as Bangladeshi telecom operator Teletalk is going to launch 3G by 2012.
Mobile phone, the 1st generation of which was introduced in the mid-1980s, has been constantly evolving since its inception. Today, over 2B mobile phones are in usage and around 80% of the worlds population is within reach of a mobile phone adoption and mobile signals. Though Mobile phone has traditionally been used for voice communications, today it can serve as the platform for a variety of communication outputs including data and video.
International Mobile Telecommunications-2000 (IMT 2000), better known as 3G or 3rd generation, is a generation of standards for mobile phones and mobile telecommunications services fulfilling specifications by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). Application services include wide area wireless voice telephone, mobile Internet access, video calls and mobile TV, all in a mobile environment. One gorgeous feature of 3G Technology is video conference application. 3G not only ensures high speed internet but also allows the mobile phone carrier to set up call in less time & ensures less call drop. However, with the capability for high-speed wireless data transfer, 3G has enhanced or made possible a myriad of additional applications such as mobile video, secure mobile, location-based services, and audio on demand. For example, using 2.5G (or a slightly better version of second generation wireless) a three minute song takes between six and nine minutes to download. Using 3G, it can be downloaded in 11 to 90 seconds. The 3G system increases the speed of data transfer between various devices. Speed of up to 2 mbps can be achieved by using 3G wireless technology devices and it provides better security of data. That’s why people working for big companies prefer 3G technology over 2G and 2.5G technologies. It supports multi player games. Therefore, the youngsters have a kind of craze about 3G technologies as they can play the games of their interests with their friends from any place at any time.
There are currently almost 100 million 3G wireless subscribers worldwide. The US, with over 200 million mobile phone subscribers, crossed the 10% mark for 3G penetration for the first time in 2006, while Japan stayed in the lead with over 50% of its subscribers using 3G phones. As 3G adoption accelerates, 3G carriers, handset manufacturing, infrastructure equipment makers and 3G application providers stand to gain. Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISP), carriers without the wherewithal or financial resources to upgrade their networks, and companies that provide services which are standard under 3G (i.e. email access), will be in a position to lose. While the 3G market may be definitely gaining traction, the industry is rapidly approaching a crossroads, where the needs of different market segments can vary substantially, and the potential rewards and losses for the different technology vendors and mobile communications operators could be substantial. 3G or the third-generation wireless refers to near future developments in personal & business wireless technology, especially relating to mobile communications. 3G or The Third Generation will usher in many benefits as roaming capability, broad bandwidth and high speed communication.
This new technology will not only enrich the experience of using mobile phone, but also create deep influence in the market & economy in Bangladesh. As it has been mentioned earlier, 3G mobile accessories will have to be imported from other countries as no infrastructure has been introduced yet in our country to produce those. But we have infrastructure and potential to design new applications for 3G mobile phones. GPIT (Grameen Phone IT), a shining example in this regard, has been providing the service of designing & maintaining applications to various mobile phone operators in Bangladesh. For the making & maintaining 3G environment in Bangladesh there will be an employment facility for many IT professionals. So, definitely this technology does have a good business prospect in Bangladesh.
As a government run company, Teletalk has got the very first chance to develop its 3G structure. It will first provide 3G coverage in Dhaka and gradually cover the whole country. Teletalk, which started its service in 2005, did not gain much success in telecommunication sector. But may be this time, with the launching 0f 3G, Teletalk will get a chance to change its fate. After Teletalk, other mobile service operator will get 3G license according to their demand. As 90 percent of Bangladeshi consumer take the service from non govt operators, 3G in real sense will be experienced after they get license and make infrastructure. This will not be rhetoric to say that, 3G is going to start a new era in Telecommunication sector of Bangladesh.
*Author: Student of Electrical & Telecommunication Engineering at North South University and General Secretary of Sherpur IT Club.
*This article was published in the daily Sun on 24 Jun, 2011
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