Airtel will partner with Huawei for the upcoming launch of 3G services in Bangladesh.
In the 3G licence auction held on 8 September, Airtel won the licence with 5 MHz of spectrum in 2100 MHz band.
According to Chris Tobit, CEO and managing director, Airtel Bangladesh Ltd, 3G services will mark the beginning of the next phase of Bangladesh's telecom growth story and elevate the telecom sector at par with most advanced telecom markets in the world.
The spectrum was won by Bharti Airtel's subsidiary in Bangladesh for $105 million.
Four telecom operators in the country, including Grameenphone, Robi Axiata, Airtel Bangladesh and Banglalink Digital Communications were sold 25 megahertz (MHz) of 3G airwaves for $525, with country's largest mobile operator Grameenphone securing 10 MHz of spectrum for $210 million, while the other three bagged 5 MHz each at a price of $105 million.
According to International Telecommunication Union (ITU) data, the number of internet users in Bangladesh rose from 7.6 million in 2011 to 9.6 million. The country, however has a low internet penetration at a low 0.34 per cent.
Tobit added 3G services would have a multiplier effect on economic growth and bring in enhanced efficiencies.