Faisal Mobarak, Asst. General Manager, Network Operations Center, Ollo Wireless Internet is speaking on Day Two of the 9th annual LTE Asia conference, taking place on the 23rd-25th September 2014 at the Marina Bay Sands, Singapore.
What are the broad challenges that you expect to face over the next five years?
For developing country like Bangladesh, the key challenge is to make LTE a profitable business case for the operators. In Bangladesh, we still have very low Internet usage and the use of data is just not up to the mark, mostly due to lack of local content and overpriced Internet bandwidth at consumer level. Therefore, the challenge is more on socio-economic part rather than technical.
What is your strategy for increasing consumer uptake of LTE services?
Forming awareness of the Internet and its accessibility anywhere will play a vital role for creating the future consumer. Bangladesh is the eighth largest country of the world by population (around 156 million) and almost 10 per cent (around 15 million) live in the capital, Dhaka. Until now, all the operators were only concerned about Dhaka for quick ROI. But, we see the business model differently. We intend to focus more on rural areas as still 90 per cent of the potential consumers are there.
As a WiMAX operator are you looking at moving to TD-LTE or FD-LTE?
We’ve been working in Bangladesh since 2007 and had one of the first and largest-scale deployment of 3.5GHz WiMAX. Now we are focusing on deploying FDD-LTE primarily in Band 7 (urban areas) and Band 20 (rural areas) as the FDD-LTE equipment and CPE is mature enough to go for a commercial network. We are also keeping close eye on how the TD-LTE ecosystem is developing in other countries, which we plan to deploy later in Band 38.
How significant do you believe big data will be for operators as a revenue generator, and how do you plan to leverage this?
Big data is going to be the next biggest rotating wheel for the Internet economy in Bangladesh. Internet usage patterns here are already started to change and the young generation is storing every bit of their life in Internet. We are building the communication pipe real fat and encouraging consumers to make the best use of it. Soon, there will be no speed limit and charges will be only on big bundled data volume.
Do you have any specific plans to cope with the expected growth of mobile video?
Right now, due to a lack of sufficient speed, mobile videos are not pleasant to watch. But the potential is there. Around 30+ TV channels are available through apps and people like to stay connected to those channels. We are aiding in the production of more local content, most of which are mobile videos.
What are your key expectations from attending the LTE Asia conference?
LTE is an emerging technology. Different operators in Asia have deployed different variants and models of LTE. For a developing country like Bangladesh it is necessary for us to learn the deployment and operational best practices as well as the ecosystem around LTE. We also expect to discuss the lesson learned and the shortcomings of deploying LTE with similar minded technical peers around the world.