Grameenphone is now the leading telecommunications service provider in the country with more than 16 million subscribers as of December 2007.Presently, there are about 30 million telephone users in the country, of which, a little over one million are fixed-phone users and the rest mobile phone subscribers. Starting its operations on March 26, 1997, the Independence Day of Bangladesh, Grameenphone has come a long way. It is a joint venture enterprise between Telenor (62%), the largest telecommunications service provider in Norway with mobile phone operations in 12 other countries, and Grameen Telecom Corporation (38%), a non-profit sister concern of the internationally acclaimed micro-credit pioneer Grameen Bank. Over the years, Grameenphone has always been a pioneer in introducing new products and services in the local market. GP was the first company to introduce GSM technology in Bangladesh when it launched its services in March 1997.The technological know-how and managerial expertise of Telenor has been instrumental in setting up such an international standard mobile phone operation in Bangladesh. Being one of the pioneers in developing the GSM service in Europe, Telenor has also helped to transfer this knowledge to the local employees over the years. The company has so far invested more than BDT 10,700 crore (USD 1.6 billion) to build the network infrastructure since its inception in 1997. It has invested over BDT 3,100 crore (USD 450 million) during the first three quarters of 2007 while BDT 2,100 crore (USD 310 million) was invested in 2006 alone. Grameenphone is also one of the largest taxpayers in the country, having contributed nearly BDT 7000 crore in direct and indirect taxes to the Government Exchequer over the years. Of this amount, over BDT 2000 crore was paid in 2006 alone.
November 28, 1996: GrameenPhone was offered a cellular license in Bangladesh by the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications. March 26, 1997: GrameenPhone launched its service on the Independence Day of Bangladesh; June 1998: GP started its services in the port city of Chittagong, the second largest city in the country. Cell to cell coverage in the Dhaka-Chittagong corridor also enabled GP to introduce its service in a number of other districts along the way; September 1999: GP started its service in the industrial city of Khulna. Once again, a number of other districts came under coverage of GP because of the cell to cell coverage between Dhaka and Khulna. Earlier in September 1999, it introduced the EASY pre-paid service in the local market. It also introduced the Voice MailService (VMS) and the Short Message Service (SMS) and other Value Added Services (VAS);
June 2000: GrameenPhone started its services in Sylhet, Barisal and Rajshahi, bringing all six divisional headquarters under the coverage of its network. The service in Barisal region was started after the microwave link between Khulna and Chittagong was completed. August 2003: After six years of operation, GrameenPhone has more than one million subscribers; November 2005: GrameenPhone continues to being the largest mobile phone operator of Bangladesh with more than 5 million subscribers; November 16, 2006: After almost 10 years of operation, GrameenPhone has over 10 million subscribers. September 20, 2007
Grameenphone announces 15 million subscribers.
Since its inception in March 1997, Grameenphone has built the largest cellular network in the country with over 10,000 base stations in more than 5700 locations. Presently, nearly 98 percent of the country's population is within the coverage area of the Grameenphone network.GP was also the first operator to introduce the pre-paid service in September 1999. In addition to core voice services, GrameenPhone offers a number of value-added services, in each case on both a contract and prepaid basis. It established the first 24-hour Call Center, introduced value-added services such as...