Grameenphone in building a technologically smart nation | Whuff News


In the 1990s, analog telephones were the prevailing mode of telecommunication and talking to someone over the phone cost, on average, Tk. 21 for every three minutes, added to Tk. 2,000 monthly subscription and Tk. 35,000 connection charges. Fast forward to 2022, you can use as low as Tk. 0.60 per 10 seconds of conversation – a significant increase in both flexibility and affordability. When landlines are popular and mobile internet is the stuff of imagination, long distance communication is a long and tiring process. It involves not only an active T&T number, but the person you want to contact also needs to have a wired network connection in their respective area.

Thankfully, call costs have become more flexible since ancient times – perhaps because operators have worked and contributed to the digitization of the country since its inception – Grameenphone. The brand has also provided Bangladeshis with reliable access to mobile internet thanks to their extensive network coverage. Creating a high-level and seamless means of communication is an important step towards realizing the recently initiated goal of ‘Smart Bangladesh’, which requires overcoming existing barriers with the merits of modern technology.

For all the latest news, follow The Daily Star’s Google News channel.

While the government aims to achieve a smart nation by 2041, Grameenphone, since its inception 25 years ago, has been a key driver of the same goal. By ensuring mobile access and high-speed internet to remote areas, training a future-ready workforce, and providing innovative and emerging technologies such as eSim and 5G services, Grameenphone is establishing itself as a key element in the development of what we recognize as a smart nation. – a country that enables technology suitable for the world of the future.

Becoming a smarter nation naturally presupposes a basic need for telecommunications: an aspect that Grameenphone fully embraces. As the pioneer of prepaid calling services in the country, Grameenphone’s low-cost prepaid system not only helps to remove communication barriers across the country but also helps to bridge the digital divide that previously existed between rural and urban areas. Instant telecommunications access also allows low-income and rural people to contribute to expanding the accessibility of local services and businesses throughout the country.

During their lifetime, Grameenphone invested over Tk. 416 billion towards the development of Bangladesh’s telecommunications sector, with Tk. 37.2 billion in 2021 alone. Since the fiscal year 2015-16 and for seven consecutive years, Grameenphone has been awarded as the highest taxpayer in the telecommunications category, which contributes to the national revenue. With an income of Tk. 143,066 million in 2021, Grameenphone recorded a growth of 2.5% since the previous fiscal year. Telecommunications companies as a whole contribute to 1.82% of GDP, of which the highest contribution recorded is by Grameenphone. As the operator with the most network towers nationwide, Grameenphone has also invested heavily in network development – taking the initiative to turn existing network towers into dedicated 4G towers covering 98% of the country’s population. At least 13% of the country, including the most remote areas, is covered exclusively by the Grameenphone network – areas where telecommunications are a lifeline. Thus, Grameenphone uniquely positions themselves as the undeniable economic factor behind the growth of digitally enabled Bangladesh.

A smarter Bangladesh needs the right local workforce to meet the challenges of the future. Therefore, Grameenphone has contributed to the development of Smart Bangladesh with the ambition to improve the digital skills of the youth and create employment and economic opportunities. Since its launch in Bangladesh in 1997, Grameenphone has continuously built local capacity based entirely on local talent. By 2007, the company had spent about $4 million on training the local workforce, still investing in acquiring future-ready capabilities and a highly skilled workforce to meet Bangladesh’s digital needs.

To further enhance youth employability, Grameenphone annually organizes training programs such as Grameenphone Accelerator for local startups and FutureNation for graduate jobs, which have successfully empowered many Bangladeshi talents with the skills needed to excel in technology, economics and entrepreneurship. Grameenphone Academy, the company’s educational institution dedicated to improving the skills of university students, has courses that combine academic knowledge with professional experience to equip graduates with practical industry-oriented skills. This has helped develop diversity in professional expertise in many local jobs – diversity that is essential for any smart country. In addition, every Grameenphone employee is required to complete 40 hours of training each year, which helps them upgrade and stay up-to-date with the latest professional skills.

Inclusiveness is a big part of building a smart nation. To help individuals with speech and hearing problems, Grameenphone launched a service called SignLine in 2020, which enables sign language support on Grameenphone’s official website and MyGP app. The Grameenphone website also has sign language video tutorials where anyone can learn the basics of sign language.

Grameenphone has also played an important role in preparing the country for a smarter future by introducing innovative telecommunications technology. Starting from March 7, Grameenphone provides climate-friendly eSIMs to Bangladeshi customers. Grameenphone has also been a decisive step in creating accessible internet throughout the country. In Q3 2022, Grameenphone recorded 3.2 crore active 4G users.

Taking a step further towards the goal of ‘Smart Bangladesh’, Grameenphone successfully conducted 5G trials in Dhaka and Chattogram on 26 July 2022. Starting on 22 September, Grameenphone launched 5G services in eight divisional cities to further enhance the country’s digital connectivity. Grameenphone 5G services are also gradually being made available in different areas of Bangladesh, including Gulshan (Dhaka), Mirabazar (Sylhet), Kolatoli (Cox’s Bazar) and Grameenphone regional offices in Khulna, Cumilla and Mymensingh. As 5G is projected to be a key enabler in driving automated manufacturing processes and making industries more cost-effective and self-sufficient, wider access to this new internet spectrum will allow Bangladesh to achieve more innovation and progress in the telecommunications sector.

As evidence of Grameenphone’s role in developing Smart Bangladesh, Grameenphone is the recipient of the 2021 Digital Bangladesh Award in the institutional category. The award was given according to the company’s contribution to Bangladesh’s youth empowerment, startup ecosystem and digital innovation sector. By empowering a future-ready local workforce and strengthening digital connectivity across the country, Grameenphone is helping Bangladesh move closer to becoming a smarter nation.



Source link