“PROBLEMS AND PROSPECTS OF TELECOMMUNICATION INDUSTRY
AND ITS’ MARKETING STRATEGIES”
OVERVIEW OF THE INDUSTRY
1.0 History of Telecommunication:
“Watson, come here: I want you.” This was the first message ever transmitted from one place to another, through a device called telephone. American genius, Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922) along with his assistant Thomas Watson invented the device. It was March 10, 1876, an important day for human civilization, the first step towards developing means of communication. We’ve come a long way since then.
Today, telephone is a part of our everyday life. Nowadays, the phone is not only used for making calls, among many other functions it’s used for communicating through text-messages and so called multi-media messages, as well as to connect us to the internet.
The liberalization of Bangladesh’s telecommunications sector began with small steps in 1989 with the issuance of a license to a private operator for the provision of inter alia cellular mobile services to compete with the previous monopoly provider of telecommunications services the Bangladesh Telegraph and Telephone Board (BTTB). Significant changes in the number of fixed and mobile services deployed in Bangladesh occurred in the late 1990s and the numbers of services in operation have subsequently grown exponentially in the past five years. The incentives both from government and public sectors have helped to grow this sector. It is now one of the biggest sectors of Bangladesh. As a populous country, its huge market has attracted many foreign investors to invest in this sector.
The telecom sector in Bangladesh is rapidly emerging. Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) is the regulatory authority for this sector, overseeing licensing, policy etc.
2.0 Milestone of Telecom sector in Bangladesh: Landmarks in the history of telecom industry in Bangladesh are as follows.
- 1853: Telegraph branch under Posts and Telegraph Department, British India.
- 1971: Reconstructed as Bangladesh Telegraph and Telephone Department under Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications.
- 1975: Reconstructed as Telegraph and Telephone Board.
- 1979: Reconstructed as Bangladesh Telegraph and Telephone Board (BTTB) with right to issue license for telecom and wireless services.
- 1981: Digital Telex Exchange in Bangladesh.
- 1983: Automatic Digital ITX started in Dhaka.
- 1985: Coinbox Telephone service introduced in Bangladesh by BTTB.
- 1989: GENTEX Telegraph messaging service introduced in Bangladesh.
- 1989: Bangladesh Rural Telecom Authority got license to operate exchanges in 200 upazilla.
- 1989: Sheba Telecom got license to operate exchange is 199 upazilla.
- 1989: Cellular mobile phone company Pacific Bangladesh Telephone Limited and Bangladesh Telecom got license.
- 1995: Card Telephone service introduced in Bangladesh by BTTB and TSS.
- 1995: Regulatory power of BTTB transferred to Ministry (MoPT).
- 1995: 2nd and 3rd ITX installed in Dhaka.
- 1996: GrameenPhone got cellular mobile Telephone license.
- 1996: Telecom Malaysia International Bangladesh got cellular mobile license.
- 1998: Telecom Policy.
- 2000: Global Telecom Service (GTS) Telex Exchange venture with British Teleco.
- 2001: Telecommunication Act, to establish Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC).
- 2002: ICT Policy.
- 2004: Teletalk cellular mobile launched.
- 2005: Egypt-based Orascom acquired Sheba Telecom.
- 2006: NGN introduced in BTTB.
- 2008: BTTB converted into Bangladesh Telecommunications Company Limited (BTCL) with 100% shares owned by Government.
- 2008: Japanese NTT DoCoMo bought 30 percent stake in Aktel.
- 2009: Bharti Airtel acquired 70 percent stake in Warid Telecom.
- 2009: Internet Protocol Telephony Service Provider (IPTSP) Operators launched.
2.1 Telecom Operator in Bangladesh:
There are different types of telecom operator in Bangladesh. Those are as follows:
- Mobile Phone Operators
- Long Distance Operators
- Internet Protocol Telephony Service Provider (IPTSP) Operators
- Broadband Internet Access
- International and
- Submarine cables
- PSTN: The PSTN or fixed operators in Bangladesh are:
a) BTCL (former BTTB)
b) Peoples Telecommunication and Information Services Ltd.
c) Tele Barta Ltd. – branded under the name Jubok phone
d) Jalalabad Telecom Ltd. – branded under the name Bijoy Phone
e) Onetel Communication Ltd.
f) National Telecom Ltd.
g) Westec Ltd.
h) Dhaka Telephone Co. Ltd.
i) Integrated Services Limited (ISL) – branded under the name Sheba Phone
j) S.A Telecom System Ltd.
k) Banglaphone Ltd.
The number of PSTN subscribers in Bangladesh as of February 2009 was 1.372 million.
Mobile Phone Operators:
There are 6 mobile phone operators in Bangladesh. These are:
1. Grameenphone Ltd.: Branded as Grameenphone
2. Sheba Telecom Ltd.: Branded as Banglalink
3. Axiata Bangladesh Ltd: Branded as Robi
4. Pacific Bangladesh Telephone Ltd.: Branded as Citycell
5. Airtel Bangla Ltd. Branded as Airtel
6. Teletalk Bangladesh Ltd.: Branded as Teletalk
The number of mobile phone subscribers in Bangladesh as of February 2009 was 45.21 million,rising to 76.43 million at the end of June 2011.
Long Distance Operators:
On February 25, 2008 the Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission awarded licenses for two Interconnection Exchanges (ICX), three International Gateways (IGw), and one International Internet Gateway (IIG) to six firms through an open auction in February 2008. The incumbent BTTB got the same licenses too. Here is the list of all operators:
International Gateway (IGW) Operators
1. Bangla Trac Communications Limited
2. Mir Telecom
3. Novotel Limited
Interconnection Exchange (ICX) operators
1. Getco Telcommunications Ltd.
2. M&H Teletcom Ltd.
International Internet Gateway (IIG) Operator
1. Mango Teleservices Limited
Internet Protocol Telephony Service Provider (IPTSP) Operators:
The IPTSP operators in Bangladesh are:
1. HRC Technologies Limited (GETCO Online Ltd.)
2. Eirtel Bangladesh Limited.
3. Information Services Network Limited
4. Agni Systems Ltd.
5. Innovative Online Limited
6. Dhakacom Limited
7. Connect BD Ltd.
8. Digital Connectivity Limited
9. BTS Communications (BD) Ltd
10. Royal Green Online Limited
11. Global Access Limited
12. Access Telecom (BD) Ltd.
13. Ranks ITT Ltd.
14. BDCOM Online Ltd.
15. Broad Band Telecom Services Limited
16. Link 3 Technologies Ltd
17. BRAC Net Limited
18. Metro net Bangladesh Limited
19. Communication One (Pvt.) Limited
20. Telnet Communication Limited
21. X-Net Limited
22. Bangladesh Internet Exchange Limited
23. Nreach Net (Pvt.) Limited
24. Advanced Data Networks System Limited
25. Akij Online Limited
26. Bangladesh Export Import Company Limited
27. IDS Bangladesh
28. IS PROS LIMITED
29. Idea Networks and Communications Ltd
30. Pritty International (Pvt) Limited
31. Akceycom Limited
1. Grameen Cybernet Limited
2. Fusion Net
3. M/s. Media & Multimedia
4. Next Online Limited
5. J F Optical Services
6. IT Connect Limited
7. Sine-10 (BD) Ltd.
8. SADIATEC Ltd.
1. Chittagong Online Limited
2. Chittagong Telecom Services Limited
3. HN TELECOM
On August 18, 2009 the Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission awarded licenses for IPTSP. IPTSP operators are regulated by the BTRC.
Radio broadcast stations: AM 12, FM 12, shortwave 2, community radio 1, internet radios
Radios: 6.15 million (1997)
The government owned Betar-Radio Bangladesh operates from Dhaka and other local districts. Currently, the private FM radio channels are very popular. They are trying to attract young people by broadcasting music and news. The operating private radio channels include:
- Radio Today FM
- Radio Foorti FM
- Radio Amar FM
- Radio Metrowave
- ABC Radio
Television broadcast stations: 16 (1999).
Televisions: 770,000 (1997).
The number of private satellite channels is growing. The first private channel in Bangladesh was ATN Bangla.
The first connectivity of internet was only in 1996. Though It was somewhat late, over the past few years the growth is rapid. The government’s high internet tariff is impeding the growth of this sector. Recently the government is decided to reduce the tariff 50%.
Internet country code: .bd
Internet Service Providers (ISPs): As of 2005 more than 180 Internet Service Providers are operating in the country. ISP’s are regulated by the Bangladesh telecommunication regulatory commission (BTRC).
Internet users: The number of internet users in Bangladesh as of March 2009 is over 600,000 compared to 100,000 in 2000. However, only 0.3% of the population use the internet and thus making Bangladesh the lowest usage percentage per population of the internet in the world with the exception of North Korea, Myanmar and Sierra Leone.
But on April, 2010 Akhtaruzzaman Manju, president of Internet Service Providers’ Association of Bangladesh, told Xinhua that the country’s six cell phone operators and Internet Service Providers have so far provided over 800,000 internet connections. “We’ve estimated that nearly 10 million people in the country are using 800,000 internet connections on sharing basis,” he said, adding the number of internet users in the country is increasing yearly by around 15–16 percent.
The number of Internet subscribers in Bangladesh is likely to reach 18.3 million by the year 2020 translating to a 32 percent household Internet penetration at around the same time”, says a study by an international research group.
“This increased internet penetration would resulted in 2.6 per cent contribution to the country’s GDP by 2020 while creating 129 thousand more jobs by the same year” the research added.<href=”#cite_note-11″>
- Broadband Internet Access:
Though broadband internet access is available it charges high for high speed connection than other south Asian countries, though this is rapidly changing. Broadband internet and e-commerce in Bangladesh is slowly progressing. WiMAX service is now available from some internet service providers. In Bangladesh Broadband is legally defined as 128/128 kbit/s, which is not in line with ITU.Therefore most of the Broadband internet services and also subscribers are using bandwidth that may not be considered a broadband in other countries and may not be broadband in international standards.
There are 6 satellite earth stations. Talimabad, Betbunia are two of them. Some info shows that the number is now 7.
- Submarine Cables:
SEA-ME-WE 4 or South-East Asia – Middle East – Western Europe 4. The landing site is Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.
2.2 Short Profile of Mobile Phone Operators:
There are six mobile phone operators in our country. Company’s short profile are as follows.
2.3 Grameenphone Ltd. Branded as Grameenphone:
|Headquarters||GPHOUSE, Basundhara, Baridhara, Dhaka-1229. Bangladesh|
|Key people||Tore Johnsen, CEO|
|Products||Telephony, EDGE, GSM|
|Net income||6,403.8 Million Taka|
|Parent||Telenor 55.8%, Grameen Telecom 34.2% & Public 10%|
Grameenphone widely known as GP is the leading telecommunications service provider in Bangladesh. With more than 32 million subscribers (as of June 2011), Grameenphone is the largest cellular operator in the country. It is a joint venture enterprise between Telenor and Grameen Telecom Corporation, a non-profit sister concern of the internationally acclaimed microfinance organization and community development bank Grameen Bank. Telenor, the largest telecommunications company in Norway, owns 55.8% shares of Grameenphone, Grameen Telecom owns 34.2% and the remaining 10% is publicly held.
Grameenphone was the first company to introduce GSM technology in Bangladesh.It also established the first 24-hour Call Center to support its subscribers. With the slogan Stay Close, stated goal of Grameenphone is to provide affordable telephony to the entire population of Bangladesh.
The idea of providing universal mobile phone access throughout Bangladesh, including its rural areas, was originally conceived by Iqbal Quadir, who is currently the founder and director of the Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship at MIT. He was inspired by the Grameen Bank microcredit model and envisioned a business model where a cell phone can serve as a source of income. After leaving his job as an investment banker in the United States, Quadir traveled back to Bangladesh, after meeting and successfully raising money from New York based investor and philanthropist Joshua Mailman, and worked for three years gaining support from various organizations including Nobel Peace Prize laureate Muhammad Yunus of Grameen Bank and the Norwegian telephone company, Telenor. He was finally successful in forming a consortium with Telenor and Grameen Bank to establish Grameenphone. Quadir remained a shareholder of Grameenphone until 2004.
Grameenphone received a license for cellular phone operation in Bangladesh from the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications on November 28, 1996. Grameenphone started operations on March 26, 1997, the Independence Day in Bangladesh.
Grameenphone originally offered a mobile-to-mobile connectivity (widely known as GP-GP connection), which created a lot of enthusiasm among the users. It became the first operator to reach the million subscriber milestone as well as fourty million subscriber milestone in Bangladesh.
- November 28, 1996: Grameenphone Ltd. received cellular license by the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications of Bangladesh.
- March 26, 1997: Grameenphone launched its service on the Independence Day of Bangladesh.
- June 1998: Grameenphone started its services in Chittagong, the second largest city and the port city of Bangladesh. Cell to cell coverage between Dhaka-Chittagong was established.
- 1999: Grameenphone started its service in Khulna, the industrial city of Bangladesh. Also cell to cell coverage between Dhaka and Khulna brought a number of other districts under coverage.
- 2000: Grameenphone started its services in Rajshahi, the education city of Bangladesh. Service also started in Sylhet and Barisal and thus all six divisional headquarters got the cellular network coverage for the first time Bangladesh.
- August 2003: Grameenphone’s subscribes base has become more than one million. Grameenphone became the first operator in the country to reach the million subscribers.
- November 2005: Grameenphone registered more than 5 million subscribers.
- November 5, 2006: Grameenphone crosses the 10 million subscriber mark after almost ten years of operation.
- September 20, 2007: Grameenphone reaches 15 million subscribers mark.
- June 2008: Grameenphone reaches 20 million subscribers landmark.
According to Grameenphone, it has so far invested more than BDT 10,700 crore (USD 1.6 billion) to build the network infrastructure since 1997. It has invested over BDT 3,100 crore (USD 450 million) during the first three quarters of 2007 while BDT 2,100 crore (USD 310 million) was invested in 2006 alone.
Grameenphone has built the largest cellular network in the country with over 10,000 base stations in more than 5700 locations. Presently, nearly 98 percent of the country’s population is within the coverage area of the Grameenphone network.
The entire Grameenphone network is also EDGE/GPRS enabled, allowing access to dial-up quality speed Internet and data services from anywhere within the coverage area. There are currently nearly 3 million EDGE/GPRS users in the Grameenphone network.
Products offered: Grameenphone offering the following products in Bangladesh.
Grameenphone was the first operator to introduce the pre-paid mobile phone service in Bangladesh in September 1999. It offers the pre-paid subscription under the name Easy Prepaid which is currently called “smile prepaid”. Besides smile, Grameenphone also offers a youth based mobile to mobile connectivity within Bangladesh named djuice’.
Grameenphone also offers postpaid mobile service. Xplore Postpaid is the name of its post paid service.
- Internet: Grameenphone provides internet service in its coverage area. As it has EDGE/GPRS enabled network, any subscriber can access to internet through this network. Grameenphone was the first mobile operator in Bangladesh to offer EDGE services to its subscribers.
- BillPay: A service to enable users to pay their utility bills Electricity/Gas through mobile.
- CellBazaar: Services to enable user’s sells or buy products through mobile or internet.
- Various other services like Stock Information, Instant Messaging, SMS Based Alerts/Services, Voice-based Services, Downloads, Music, Cricket Updates, Web SMS, and Mobile Backup etc.
- Village phone
- Grameenphone Centers
- Community Information Centre
- Grameenphone received the GSM in the Community Award at the global GSM Congress held in Cannes, France in February 2000 for its Village Phone initiative.
- In 2002, Grameenphone was adjudged the Best Joint Venture Enterprise of the Year at the Bangladesh Business Awards.
- Grameenphone was presented with the GSM Association’s Global Mobile Award for ‘Best use of Mobile for Social and Economic Development’ under Bridging the digital divide category at the 3GSM World Congress held in Singapore, in October 2006, for its Community Information Center (CIC) project.
- In the next year, 2007, Grameenphone was again presented with the same award for its `HealthLine Service’ at the 3GSM World Congress held in Barcelona, Spain, in February.
2.4 Sheba Telecom Ltd.: Branded as Banglalink:
|Area served||64 Districts of Bangladesh.|
|Headquarters||Tiger House, House # SW(H)04, Gulshan Avenue, Gulshan Model Town, Dhaka, Bangladesh.|
|Key people||MD and CEO.|
|Products||Telephony and GPRS.|
Banglalink is the second largest cellular service provider in Bangladesh after Grameenphone. As of November, 2009, Banglalink has a subscriber base of 12.99 million. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Orascom Telecom.
Banglalink had 1.03 million connections until December, 2005. The number of Banglalink users increased by 257 percent and stood at 3.64 million at the end of 2006, making it the fastest growing operator in the world of that year. In August, 2006, Banglalink became the first company to provide free incoming calls from BTTB for both postpaid and prepaid connections. On August 20, 2008, Banglalink got past the landmark of 10 million subscriber base.
History of Banglalink:
Sheba Telecom (PVT Ltd)-after talking lots- finally was granted license in 1989 to operate in the rural areas of 199 upazilas. Later it obtained GSM license in 1996 to extend its business to cellular mobile, radio telephone services. It launched operation in the last quarter of 1997 as a Bangladesh-Malaysia joint venture.
In July, 2004, it was reported that Egypt based Orascom Telecom is set to purchase the Malaysian stakes in Sheba Telecom through a hush-hush deal, as Sheba had failed to tap the business potentials in Bangladesh mainly due to a chronic feud between its Malaysian and Bangladeshi partners. An agreement was reached with Orascom worth US$25 million was finalized in secret. The pact has been kept secret for legal reasons, considering financial fallout and because of the feud.
The main reason for the undercover dealing was the joint venture agreement between the Bangladeshi and the Malaysian partners, which dictates that if any party sells its Sheba shares, the other party will enjoy the first right to buy that.
Integrated Services Ltd. (ISL), the Bangladeshi partner, was being ‘officially’ shown as purchasing the shares held by Technology Resources Industries (TRI) of Malaysia for $15 million. ISL then paid another $10 million to Standard Chartered Bank to settle Sheba’s liabilities.
In September, 2004, Orascom Telecom Holdings purchased 100% of the shares of Sheba Telecom (Pvt.) Limited (“Sheba”). It was acquired for US$60 million. Sheba had a base of 59,000 users, of whom 49,000 were regular when it was sold. Afterward it was re-branded and launched its services under the “Banglalink” brand on February 10, 2005. Banglalink’s license is a nationwide 15-year GSM license and will expire in November, 2011.
In March, 2008, Sheba Telecom (Pvt.) Limited changed its name as Orascom Telecom Bangladesh Limited, matching its parent company name.
1. Prepaid packages
Banglalink currently offers two prepaid plans. All the prepaid plans come in two phases—Standard (T&T incoming and outgoing with NWD and ISD) and M2M. All connections provide GPRS to subscribers.
- desh, with the slogan Ek desh Ek Rate! (means one country one rate!), is one of the cheapest prepaid plans in the country by tariff. Users of desh can call any mobile operator at 0.45 taka (excluding VAT) during 12 AM to 5 PM. It also has three FnF numbers. desh was launched on September 14, 2006.
- desh rang is launched as a brand extension to enrich the brand of desh. Rang is a Bengali word which means color. It is introduced with the catch phrase—Rangiye Din Apnar Jeebon (means color your life.). This package is beneficial for customers who mainly make calls to their own network and are heavy SMS users. It offers four on-net FnF numbers, but no off-net FnF number.
- Regular prepaid was the first package Banglalink had to offer. It is currently unavailable in the market.
- Ladies, first!, with the slogan Shomporker Network (means network of relationships), was tailored for women. It was launched on September 3, 2005. It had introduced 1 second pulse for the first time in the prepaid market. It offered four FnF numbers. It is currently unavailable in the market.
- be linked! was launched on November 16, 2005. It was later taken over by desh package as all the be linked! Customers were automatically migrated to desh.
2. Post-paid packages:
Currently there are three postpaid plans from Banglalink for its tail customers. These packages are known as enterprise personal, which is a subset of much larger Banglalink enterprise. All packages come with T&T local, NWD, ISD and e-ISD connectivity.
Personal package 1
Personal call and control
- Upper class, a post-paid platform, was launched on July 31, 2005. It was mainly targeting slightly upscale consumers. upper class was known for offering purple carpet treatment to its clients, giving special attention with separate counters at sales and customer care centers and a dedicated hotline. It had numerous packages under two different tariff plans—tailor made and made to measure. In addition to those, it introduced a hybrid product named call and control designed to offer the value of post-paid with the control of prepaid. Later enterprise personal took control of upper class.
2.5 Banglalink enterprise
Banglalink enterpriseoffers a wide range of products and services to suit the needs of the business community. Companies under the enterprise package are provided with a dedicated enterprise relationship manager who provides them with personalized customer care round the clock. Other benefits of enterprise include customized packages with attractive call charges and connection price, enterprise SMS broadcast, enterprise short code, international roaming, missed call alerts, free voice mail retrieval, fax and data service, call conferencing, special offer for family members and many more. It was first launched in December, 2006. The current packages are:
- enterprise corporate; targeted at the corporate segment
- enterprise SME; targeted at the SME segment
- enterprise personal
Prior to the launch of Banglalink enterprise, Banglalink served the business clientele through a similar platform named Banglalink professional.
Banglalink Customer Care:
Banglalink delivers customer care using its call centers and customer care networks. Currently Banglalink provides customer care services to its clients through:
- Banglalink sales & care centres
- Banglalink points are aimed at providing a complete mobile solution, connections, handsets, accessories and provide selected customer services like SIM replacement, reconnection, bill payment etc. They are strategically located at key points around the country. Kallol Group, a local distribution company, had partnered with Banglalink to operate at least forty Banglalink points throughout the country. As of March, 2008, the deal with Kallol Group has been called off and Banglalink is focusing on managing its own customer care centers.
- Banglalink service points
- Banglalink care lines are call centers serving customers 24 hours 7 days a week with instant solutions.
2.6 Axiata Bangladesh Ltd: Branded as Robi:
|Area served||All over Bangladesh|
|Headquarters||Robi Corporate Office, 53 Gulshan South Avenue, Gulshan-1, Dhaka, Bangladesh|
|Key people||Michael Kuehner (CEO), A K M Morshed (CTO), Pradeep Shiravastava (CMO), Mahtabuddin Ahmed (CFO), Matiul Islam Nowshad (CHRO).|
|Products||Mobile Telephony, GPRS, EDGE, International Roaming|
|Parent||Axiata Group Berhad (70%) and NTT DoCoMo (30%)|
Robi Axiata Limited, DBA Robi (formerly known as Aktel), is a joint venture between Axiata Group Berhad, Malaysia (70%) and NTT DoCoMo Inc, Japan (30%).
Robi is the third largest mobile phone operator in Bangladesh with more than 14 million subscribers as of June 2011.
Robi boasts of the widest international roaming service in the market, connecting over 500 operators across 207 countries. It is the first operator in the country to introduce GPRS. Robi uses GSM 900/1800 MHz standard and operates on allocated 12.8 MHz frequency spectrum.
Robi Axiata Limited is a joint venture company between Axiata Group Berhad, Malaysia and NTT DOCOMO INC, Japan. It was formerly known as Telekom Malaysia International (Bangladesh) which commenced operations in Bangladesh in 1997 with the brand name AKTEL. On 28 March 2010, the service name was rebranded as ‘Robi’ and the company came to be known as Robi Axiata Limited.
Robi is truly a people-oriented brand of Bangladesh. Robi, the people’s champion, is there for the people of Bangladesh, where they want and the way they want. Having the local tradition at its core, Robi marches ahead with innovation and creativity.
To ensure leading-edge technology, Robi draws from the international expertise of Axiata and NTT DOCOMO INC. It supports 2G voice, CAMEL Phase II & III and GPRS/EDGE service with high speed internet connectivity. Its GSM service is based on a robust network architecture and cutting edge technology such as Intelligent Network (IN), which provides peace-of-mind solutions in terms of voice clarity, extensive nationwide network coverage and multiple global partners for international roaming. It has the widest International Roaming coverage in Bangladesh connecting 600 operators across more than 200 countries. Its customer centric solution includes value added services (VAS), quality customer care, easy access call centers, digital network security and flexible tariff rates.
Robi offers an array of different packages. In addition to offering the fundamental pre-paid and post-paid mobile services, it offers a wide range of value-added products and services such as, SMS, GPRS, EDGE, international roaming, SMS banking, Caller Ring Back Tone, MMS, Voice Greetings, Call Blocking on 4 August 2008, which give subscriber to control which call he or she receive or not and Bengali SMS. Robi has got the widest international roaming coverage among all the operators in Bangladesh.
Robi has 21 Customer Care Centers and 430 Robi Care Points in 64 districts all over the country. Robi has over 25,000 retail along with 100,000 voucher sales point all over Bangladesh.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR):
English in schools:
English in schools, the biggest ever CSR project in Robi’s history is a language learning program in partnership with The Daily Star to promote English language learning are secondary schools across the country. The ground of this huge project lies on the extremely low English literacy rate (not more that 1%). The major reason behind a huge number of ‘drop out’ from schools is also poor performance in English.
Protibondhita Korbo Joy: With the pledge ‘Protibondhita Korbo Joy, Ai Hok Prottoi’, is providing support to the underprivileged people of the society with a view to turning disability into ability. In the first phase, Robi is providing support to the Clubfeet children (Clubfeet is a birth defect with twisted foot (inverted). Without treatment, persons afflicted often appear to walk on their ankles, or on the sides of their feet. It is a common birth defect, occurring in about one in every 1,000 births).To combat disability and to create awareness among the mass, Robi has partnered with Impact Foundation Bangladesh, a charitable trust based in England, who has specialized hospitals for this treatment in Kustia, Meherpur and a floating hospital ‘Jibontori’. Here, the patients are treated by the doctor’s team from England and Belgium. As this is an avoidable disability, Robi believes, awareness and on time treatment can help these patients to stand on their own feet and thus have a better life.
Robi Computer Corner: In line with Government’s ‘Digital Bangladesh vision 2021’, is working towards increasing IT literacy as well as access to information highway. For mass people. Along with providing internet connectivity for the mass education, is facilitating the rural and suburban colleges with computers. While running the program for the rural colleges across the country, has mapped this program into a 2 year plan to reach 64 districts of Bangladesh focusing mainly on the Women’s colleges to increase the rate of IT literacy among the female students.
Achievements in 2011 and 2010:
- Robi Axiata Limited, the leading mobile phone operator of the nation, has received “Star News HR EXCELLENCE AWARDS FOR INNOVATION IN HR”.
- Leading mobile phone service provider Robi has been re-assessed and rewarded with ISO 9001:2008 certification. Robi received this internationally renowned Management Standard after complying with all requirements.
- Robi has been conferred the prestigious Frost & Sullivan Asia Pacific ICT Award 2010 for “Emerging Market Service Provider of the Year”.
- Awarded the prestigious fund grant from GSMA MMU (Mobile Money for the Unbanked) in 2009.
- Crossing 10 million subscribers mark in 2009.
- Ranked within top 6 global comparable telecom in A.T. Kearney benchmarking exercise in 2009.
- Cost optimization project saved 2 times of what was projected.
- Bangladesh Mobile Phone Businessmen Association (BMBA) Award 2008-2009 as the best service provider in Bangladesh
- The Weekly Financial Mirror –Samsung Mobile & Robintex Business Award 2008-2009 as the best Telecommunication Company.
- TeleLink Telecommunication Award 2007 TeleLink Telecommunication Award 2007″ for its excellence in service, corporate social responsibilities and dealership management for the year 2006 in commemoration of WORLD Telecommunication Day 2007.
- Arthakantha Business Award Given by the national fortnightly business magazine of Bangladesh for its excellence in service in telecom sector.
- Financial Mirror Businessmen Award Given by the national weekly Tabloid business magazine.
- Deshbandhu C. R. Das Gold Medal For contribution to telecom sector in Bangladesh.
- Beatification Award for exceptional contribution to the Dhaka Metropolitan city from Prime Minister Office on 13th SAARC Summit.
- Standard Chartered – Financial Express Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Awards 2006 For contribution in Education, Primary Health, poverty alleviation and ecological impact.
- Arthokontho Business Award 2006 for better telecom service provider in Bangladesh.
- Financial Mirror & Robintex Business award 2006 for its excellence in service, corporate social responsibilities activities throughout Bangladesh.
- Desher Kagoj Business Award 2006 For Corporate Social Responsibilities activities.
- TeleLink Telecommunication Award 2005 for its excellence in service for the year 2005.
2.7Pacific Bangladesh Telephone Ltd.: Branded as Citycell:
|Headquarters||8th Floor Pacific Center, 14, Mohakhali C/A, Dhaka, Bangladesh|
|Key people||Mehboob Chowdhury (CEO), David Lee (COO)|
|Parent||Pacific Motors Limited, Pacific Traders Limited, Pacific Industries Limited, Far East Telecom Limited, SingTel Asia Pacific, Investments Pte Ltd, SingTel Consultancy Pte Ltd, Singapore Telecom Paging Pte Ltd.|
Citycell (Pacific Bangladesh Telecom Limited) is the first mobile communications company of Bangladesh. It is the only CDMA network operator in the country. As of 1 March 2008, Citycell’s total mobile subscriber base is 1.56 million, up 137 per cent or 680,000 from two years ago, giving it the best growth rate of the company till date. Citycell is currently owned by Singtel with 45% stake and the rest 55% owned by Pacific Group and Far East Telecom.
By the end of 2007 Citycell had refurbished its old brand identity and introduced a new logo and corporate identity; the new logo is very reminiscent of the old logo. However the slogan has remained unchanged “because we care”
As of July, 2008 Citycell has 1.67 million subscribers.<href=”#cite_note-0″>
In 1989 Bangladesh Telecom Limited (BTL) was awarded a license to operate cellular, paging, and other wireless communication networks. Then in 1990 Hutchison Bangladesh Telecom Limited (HBTL) was incorporated in Bangladesh as a joint venture between BTL and Hutchison Telecommunications (Bangladesh) Limited. HBTL began commercial operation in Dhaka using the AMPS mobile technology in 1993 and became the 1st cellular operator in South Asia. Later that year Pacific Motors bought 50% of BTL. By 1996 HBTL was renamed as Pacific Bangladesh Telecom Limited (PBTL) and launched the brand name “Citycell Digital” to market its cellular products.
Citycell offers prepaid, post-paid and fixed phone plans. Since Citycell operates in CDMA, RIM’sare usually sold with a phone mostly cheap Chinese set produced by ZTE, Huawei, Samsung, Motorola and Alcatel. Citycell currently has the cheapest phone connection tariff at 1399 taka.
The current only prepaid plan is branded as Citycell One. Citycell started offering prepaid plans from 2003. It was the first to offer a prepaid plan with BTTB connectivity in the same year. In 2005, it launched the Aalap Call Me plan- the first phone plan with negative tariff in the country. In this plan customers get credit added to their balance when they receive calls from other Citycell subscribers. In the same year, Citycell launched Aalap Super plan. Subscribers of this plan could make free calls to other Citycell subscribers during late night hours. This espoused numerous copycat products from its competitors. Later that year the national telecoms regulator ordered all phone companies to cease offering free call facility. In 2006, Citycell launched Hello 0123 plan. The name 0123 signified tariff of Tk 0 for calls to one Citycell number of the subscriber’s choice, Tk 1 for calls to two other Citycell numbers, Tk 2 for calls to all other Citycell numbers and Tk 3 for calls to all other networks. This plan was followed up with a string of other spinoff plans that continued into 2007.
As advertised in June 2008, Citycell became the first mobile operator to sign up for Instant Load. Instant Load is a joint effort from Dutch Bangla Bank and Citycell that lets pre-paid account holders top up their phone through SMS anytime, without the need to visit any store or purchase any minutes. This service is being offered free-of-charge and it is the first service of its type in Bangladesh.
After receiving the SMS, Citycell automatically withdraws the desired amount from the bank account instantly. It is not known if the service is applicable for post-paid users.
The post-paid plan is branded as Citycell One. The Postpaid subscribers enjoy 4 FnF numbers to other operators, 30 sec pulse applicable for all outgoing, Zoom Data service etc. in additional.
Recently in Int. Trade fair 2009, Citycell Introduced a new postpaid service called VOICE-DATA plan with cheaper tariff voice call and sms on any operator and BTTB (NWD) and 0.25 Tk/minute voice call and sms on any Citycell Number.
Citycell Zoom is a data plan where the customer receives an internet dongle to surf the web where ever the Citycell network is present. Customers have a choice of Citycell Zoom and Citycell Zoom Ultra. Zoom comes with a choice of prepaid or postpaid. Zoom comes with either one of two models, Huawei EC321 or ZTE MG880+. Zoom Ultra uses better technology particularly it uses EV-DO technology.
ZTE Ultra Modem AC2726 is the dongle given with Zoom Ultra. Citycell Zoom along with Grameenphone’s version of this technology is regarded as the best in the portable internet service section in Bangladesh.
Customer Care Centre:
There are 6 Customer care centers of Citycell in the country. One for each division and there are another 500 Customer care Points scattered around the country.
2.8 Airtel Bangla Ltd. Branded as Airtel:
|Headquarters||House 34, Road 19/A, Banani, Dhaka 1213, Bangladesh|
|Key people||Chris Tobit, CEO|
|Products||Telephony, EDGE, GPRS, GSM|
|Revenue||US$ 2.58 billion, 2010|
|Parent||Bharti Airtel 70% and Warid Telecom 30%|
Airtel Bangladesh Ltd. is a GSM-based cellular operator in Bangladesh. Airtel Bangladesh is the sixth mobile phone carrier to enter the Bangladesh market, and launched commercial operations on May 10, 2007. Warid Telecom International LLC, an Abu Dhabi based consortium, sold a majority 70% stake in the company to India’s Bharti Airtel Limited for US$300 million. Bharti Airtel Limited will take management control of the company and its board, and rebranded the company’s services under its own Airtel brand from 20 December 2010. The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission approved the deal on Jan 4, 2010.
In January 2010, Bharti Airtel Limited, Asia’s leading integrated telecom services provider, acquired 70% stake in Warid Telecom, Bangladesh, a subsidiary of the UAE-based Abu Dhabi Group.
History of Airtel:
In December 2005, Warid Telecom International LLC paid US$ 50 million to obtain a GSM license from the BTRC and became the sixth mobile phone operator in Bangladesh.
In a press conference on August 17, 2006, Warid announced that its network would be activated two months ahead of schedule, in October, 2006. Again in October, 2006 Warid Telecom put off the launch of its cellphone services in Bangladesh until April, 2007 after its major supplier Nokia walked out on an agreement over a payment dispute.
Warid had a soft launch at the end of January 2007. It gave away complimentary subscriptions among a selected group of individuals, whose job was to make ‘test calls’ and the operator adjusted its network’s quality based on their comments.
On May 9, 2007, Warid in an advertisement in some daily newspaper stated that it would be launching publicly on May 10, 2007. However, no call rate or any package details were revealed. The advertisement included an announcement for the people interested to buy Warid connections to bring the documents like ID card, etc., to the designated franchise and customer care centres.
On October 1, 2007, Warid Telecom expanded its network to five more districts raising total number of districts under Warid coverage to 56, said a press release. Mymensingh, Jamalpur, Sherpur, Rajbari and Narail towns were covered by Warid network.
On November 10, 2007, 61 districts under Warid network coverage. On June 10, 2008, Warid Telecom expanded its network to 3 more districts Bandarban, Khagrachhari and Rangamati. Now all 64 districts of Bangladesh are under Warid network coverage meaning Warid Telecom now has nationwide coverage.
On December 20, 2010, Warid Telecom was rebranded to Airtel.
Airtel provides both post-paid and pre-paid connection plans. The post-paid plan is branded and marketed across the country under the name airtel Postpaid, which means leader or royalty. The pre-paid segment is branded and marketed as airtel Prepaid.
The Airtel Prepaid category is divided into four segments:
Airtel Post-paid and Airtel Prepaid user enjoy various value added services (VAS), such as SMS, MMS, GPRS, 64K SIM, Dual SIM product, Corporate packages for product advertising via SMS, and a host of other features. However, International Roaming is available only to Warid post-paid users.
Customer care Centers:
Airtel has ten customer care centers around the country, which is known as ‘airtel experience center (AEC), located at key locations. These centers are directly run by Airtel itself.
Airtel has another 120 dealer outlet spread across Bangladesh, the largest chain of retail outlets in the country, which is further backed up by a chain of sub-dealers, affinity partners & distributors. Dealer outlets of airtel known as “airtel relationship Center (ARC)”
SIM Cards, Scratch Cards and sometimes mobile sets are sold at these outlets. Bill collection for post paid users and Zem top up for pre-paid users can also be availed at the franchises. These franchises directly appoint dealers and sub-dealers in their designated areas.
2.9 Teletalk Bangladesh Ltd.: Branded as Teletalk:
|Type||Public company Limited|
|Industry||Cellular Telecommunication Provider|
|Headquarters||House no: 41, Road no: 27, Block: A, Banani, Dhaka.|
|Products||Telephony, EDGE, GSM|
Teletalk Bangladesh Limited brand name “Teletalk” is a GSM based state-owned mobile phone company in Bangladesh. TeleTalk started operating on 29 December 2004. It is a Public Limited Company of Bangladesh Government, the state-owned telephone operator. TeleTalk provide GPRS and EDGE internet connectivity and got the license from Government to start the 3G which is the latest cellular information service. Teletalk is the first operator in the country that gave BTTB (now BTCL) incoming facility to its subscribers.
The mission statement of Tele Talk is “Desher Taka Deshey Rakhun” (“Keep your Money in your Country”).
TeleTalk is the 6th largest mobile phone operator in Bangladesh with 1.147 million subscribers as up to July, 2010.
1. Prepaid packages
- Shapla (1 Second pulse)
- Bijoy (1 Second pulse)
- Agami (Only for GPA5 holder in HSC exam)
2. Postpaid packages
- Standard/ Rajanigandha
3. Corporate service
- Prepaid packages
- Post-paid packages
4. Mobile internet service
Teletalk is the only operator in Bangladesh (Owner: 100% Bangladesh Government) with 100% native technical and engineering human resource base.
(SEGMENTATION, TARGET MARKET, POSITIONING, MARKETING MIX)
3.0 Marketing Strategies: Marketing strategies of telecommunication industry in Bangladesh are as follows:
Ø Segmentation: The telecom industry of Bangladesh tends to target the country’s entire population as a single segment, but varies its product in terms of augmented features and benefits to appeal to distinctive segments of customers within that one segment. While all the players in the industry attempts to compete with each other in all segments, they usually tend to target heavily the segment in which their primary core competency. Bangladesh telecommunication industry segments the industry by following criteria.
? The Everyday User: Usually more interested in cheaper rates and good connectivity, this segment comprises of a large portion of customers (other than businesses) as it more or less includes any one and every one. This segment of users are often responsible for causing operators to go into price wars, as lower prices mean more customers. This segment often shows little loyalty to operators as they frequently change connections to find cheaper rates.
? The Corporate or Business User: Target customers of this segment are of course all small, medium and large business houses in the country. This segment understandably contributes the significant portion of subscribers in terms of network usage and value for the industry. Most operators go into partnership programs with companies in order to provide all necessary products and services usually at reduced or corporate prices and with augmented benefits in order to foster profitable, long term relationships. Demands of this segment usually include Internet Connectivity (EDGE, GPRS etc.), Short Messaging Service (SMS), Email and other web application services (Blackberry Server) and efficient service.
? The Student User: Comprised of individuals that are studying in schools, colleges and universities, this segment is a hot prospect for operators as need for these users to stay connected to their friends is top priority. This segment can be considered to be a sub-segment of the everyday user, but their demands often include other advanced features such as Short Messaging Service (SMS), Internet connectivity (EDGE, GPRS etc.) and bonus talk times. Operators such as GrameenPhone introduced an additional product variant in the form of “dJuice” just for this segment.
? The Couples User: Recognizing the need for couples to talk frequently with each other, some operators have come up with offers that target married or unmarried couples or any two individuals that need to keep constant contact with each other. Each package contains two connections, so that each half of the pair may contact the other at highly reduced rates.
? The Rural User: Recognized early on by GrameenPhone, the demand of this segment is almost solely of the purest form: connectivity. Living in rural, dispersed, heavily underdeveloped areas, the individuals of this segment have a hard time keeping contact with their friends and relatives. The primary type of product that target these customers revolve around offering good connectivity in hard to reach localities and low call rates to increase affordability.
? The Internet User: While Internet Connectivity is now incorporated (or optionally incorporable) in almost all products of the industry, there are some users who are turning to telecom operators solely for Internet connectivity through the use of mobile (or modem) devices. The primary attraction that operators provide to this segment is the portability of such devices. In an era of information on the go, the need for wireless connectivity to the internet is in high demand, and portable wireless connectivity devices such as Citycell’s ZOOM and GrameenPhone’s & Banglalink’s EDGE modem have taken advantage of the situation.
Ø Target Market: Target market of telecommunication industry in Bangladesh as according to company base.
For example: Grameenphone targeted the market according to the network base. The people who want continuing network all the time, Grameenphone target that kind of people. Grameenphone targeted young generation precisely. That’s why they created new segment named Djuice.
Banglalink targeted the market according to the customer choice. That’s why they are giving the offer to the subscribers according to their choices. Banglalink also target the market for the professional people. That’s why they create Professional Package.
Teletalk targeted the young generation. They called the name is Ekush. Call rate, sms packages, internet packages, mms packages are different from other target market.
Citycell targeted the people who want to talk with fnf number. That’s why they charges citycell to citycell voice call rate is 25 paisa. Their slogan is “Why FnF?”
Ø Positioning: The positioning strategies of telecom company in tel