Feature Article

January 26, 2012

Bangladesh Mobile Operator Taps nanoGSM Picocells to Boost Indoor Coverage in Capital Dhaka

To deliver a high quality of service in the densely-populated Bangladesh capital Dhaka, the country’s mobile network operator Orascom Telecom Bangladesh, also known as Banglalink, turned to ip.access and its nanoBTS picocell solution. Banglalink offers post-paid and pre-paid GSM mobile services across Bangladesh, one of the most densely populated countries in the world. It is a subsidiary of Vimpelcom, the 6th largest mobile phone operator in the world. Currently, it has a subscriber base of 21 million, representing a market share of 27 percent, according to ip.access.

For the fast service delivery and highly optimized and controlled coverage required in this environment, Banglalink tapped ip.access’ nanoGSM picocell solution, said the mobile cell technology developer. According to ip.access, the operator’s crucial requirement was that it had to offer the highest capacity possible within a minimal footprint, as well as provide outstanding user experience in retail and corporate in-building environments. Plus, it must maintain a high grade of service within the clusters of high-rise buildings in the city, said ip.access.

To address these issues, the Bangladesh mobile operator has a choice. Banglalink could either use ip.access nanoBTS picocells, which are complete GSM basestations, or use the more traditional Distributed Antenna System (DAS), stated ip.access. The picocell solutions provider said that Banglalink today has integrated hundreds of nanoBTS picocells into its network in more than 50 buildings across Dhaka. 

To describe the performance of picocells, ip.access gave an example of a high profile shopping center in Dhaka, which had poor coverage on all four floors, including the basement level. By using two picocells on each floor, Banglalink was able to quickly ensure that the entire center received good coverage on all the floors, including basement, said the supplier.

In a statement, As El Hosseny Ibrahim, access network director at Banglalink, said, “The ip.access in-building solution requires less cabling, allowing us to provide an indoor solution at customer premises where RF cabling for DAS was not permitted.”

“The Beacon Test has proved extremely useful in enabling us to assess the coverage status during survey and before full deployment,” noted Ibrahim. “The Network Listen feature allows us to see which frequencies from foreign cells are strong, which really helps us in our frequency planning and configuring an optimal system. This, coupled with the excellent support provided by the ip.access team, made implementation fast and easy.”Meanwhile, Banglalink is also finalizing plans to introduce EDGE-support into its nanoBTS network, as well as working with ip.access to explore alternative cost-effective backhaul routes for the solution.

Want to learn more about 4G wireless technologies? Then be sure to attend the 4GWE Conference, collocated with TMC’s ITEXPO East 2012 taking place Jan. 31-Feb. 3 2012, in Miami, FL. Co-sponsored by TMC Partner Crossfire Media the 4GWE Conference provides unmatched networking opportunities and a robust conference program representing the wireless ecosystem. The conference not only brings together the best and brightest in the wireless industry, it actually spans the communications and technology industry. For more information on registering for the 4GWE Conference click here.

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Ashok Bindra is a veteran writer and editor with more than 25 years of editorial experience covering RF/wireless technologies, semiconductors and power electronics. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Carrie Schmelkin

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