Bharti Airtel plans cable link to boost net speed in Bangladesh

Bharti Airtel plans cable link to boost net speed in Bangladesh

Bharti Airtel will soon launch an international fibre-optic cable link to boost internet speeds in Bangladesh even as it readies to pitch for 3G airwaves that will be auctioned by the neighbouring country in early-September, a top executive with direct knowledge told ET.

The Sunil Mittal-founded telco has invested an undisclosed sum in a terrestrial fibre-optic cable link between India and Bangladesh to have the bandwidth in place to handle the expected surge in data traffic in the neighbouring country, post-rollout of 3G services.

Its wholly-owned Bangladesh arm, Airtel Bangladesh (formerly Warid Telecom), is, in fact, likely to take the 3G route to boost the company’s under 8% market penetration in a country that is home to some 103 million mobile customers.

Airtel is the fourth-largest mobile carrier in Bangladesh behind market leader, Telenor-controlled Grameenphone, Egypt’s Orascom and Malaysia’s Axiata. Bharti Airtel executives declined to reveal the company’s 3G gameplan in Bangladesh but said “the new fibre-optic cable link would support the anticipated data thrust in the neighbouring country once third-generation mobile broadband services get rolled out”.

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