Grameenphone is now the leading telecommunications service provider in the country with more than 21 million subscribers as of March 2009. Presently, there are about 35 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. GP's Vision is we're here to help. GP's Missions are Knowing customer experience, knowing us, organizing us. GP's Values are Make it easy, Keep promises, be inspiring, be respectful. GP's slogan is ideas that simplify. 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 the largest taxpayers in the country, having contributed nearly BDT 7000 core in direct and indirect taxes to the Government Exchequer over the years. Of this amount, over BDT 2000 crore was paid in 2006 alone. 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. Grameenphone was also the first operator to introduce the pre-paid service in September 1999. It established the first 24-hour Call Center, introduced value-added services such as VMS, SMS, fax and data transmission services, international roaming service, WAP, SMS-based push-pull services, EDGE, personal ring back tone and many other products and services. The entire Grameenphone network is also EDGE/GPRS enabled, allowing access to high-speed Internet and data services from anywhere within the coverage area. There are currently nearly 3 million EDGE/GPRS users in the Grameenphone network. Grameenphone nearly doubled its subscriber base during the initial years while the growth was much faster during the later years. It ended the inaugural year with 18,000 customers, 30,000 by the end of 1998, 60,000 in 1999, 193,000 in 2000, 471,000 in 2001, 775,000 in 2002, 1.16 million in 2003, 2.4 million in 2004, 5.5 million in 2005, 11.3 million in 2006, 16.5 million in 2007 and it ended 20million in 2008. From the very beginning, Grameenphone placed emphasis on providing good after-sales services. In recent years, the focus has been to provide after-sales within a short distance from where the customers live. There are now more than 600 GP Service Desks across the country covering nearly all upazilas of 61 districts. In addition, there are GPCF-52 GPC-20, GPCIC-550 Centers over the country and they remain open from 8am-7pm every day including all holidays. GP has generated direct and indirect employment for a large number of people over the years. The company presently has more than 4,500 full and?temporary employees....
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