Teletalk and Banglalink launch beta national roaming service

Teletalk and Banglalink launch beta national roaming service

Select customers of Bangladesh state-owned telco Teletalk are reportedly now able to roam onto the network of rival telco Banglalink as part of a beta launch for a national roaming service to help Teletalk cope with availability problems.

According to the Daily Star newspaper, the "pre-commercial launch" of the national roaming service, which commenced on Tuesday, only enables some Teletalk customers to roam onto Banglalink's network. The service currently doesn’t allow Banglalink customers to roam onto Teletalk’s network during the pre-commercial period.

Teletalk users will be charged the normal rates regardless of which network they happen to be using. The report says Banglalink will not earn any revenue from Teletalk during the pre-commercial roaming period.

Banglalink said the two telcos have successfully trialled the roaming service, and are currently finalising commercial agreements for a nationwide commercial launch, which is expected to take a few months, the report said.

The report added that Robi Axiata has received approval from the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) to hold a trial for the roaming service, and is ready to start once it receives a response from Teletalk.

The roaming service plan is intended to help Teletalk keep its customers connected, as a fair chunk of its base stations are vulnerable to power outages. According to the report, the backup batteries in over 21% of Teletalk’s base stations cannot provide more than one minute of backup power in the event of a power outage. Meanwhile, 40% can only provide one hour of backup power.

Power outages have become more frequent in Bangladesh in the past year due to extreme weather, as well as declining forex reserves and currency value that make it more difficult to pay for fuel imports, according to media reports.


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