|Bangladesh (Nationwide coverage)|
|Erik Aas (CEO)|
|Products||Mobile Telephony, EDGE, GSM, GPRS, UMTS, HSDPA, HSUPA, HSPA, HSPA+, FDD-LTE|
|Revenue||US$500 million (2020)|
|Parent||Global Telecom Holding, VEON|
Banglalink Digital Communications Ltd. (Bengali: বাংলালিংক; previously Orascom Telecom Bangladesh Ltd.) is a telecommunication service provider in Bangladesh. It's the third-largest cellular service provider in Bangladesh. It is fully owned by Telecom Ventures Ltd. (previously Orascom Telecom Ventures Ltd.) of Malta, which is a 100% owned subsidiary of Global Telecom Holding, which is, in turn, a subsidiary of the Dutch holding company VEON.
Banglalink attained 1 million subscribers by December 2005, and 3 million subscribers by October 2006. In less than two years, by December 2007, Banglalink overtook Aktel (now Robi) to become the second-largest operator in Bangladesh with more than 7.1 million customers.
Banglalink had 1.03 million connections until December 2005. The number of Banglalink users increased by 257% and stood at 3.64 million at the end of 2006, making it the fastest-growing operator in the world of that year. In August 2006, Banglalink became the first company to provide free incoming calls from BTTB for both postpaid and prepaid connections. On 20 August 2008, Banglalink got past the landmark of a 10 million subscriber base. As of August 2021, Banglalink has a subscriber base of 36.90 million.
Sheba Telecom (Pvt.) Ltd. was granted license in 1989 to operate in the rural areas of 199 upazilas. Later it obtained nationwide 15-year GSM license in November 1996 to extend its business to cellular mobile, radio telephone services. It launched operation in the last quarter of 1997 as a Bangladesh-Malaysia joint venture.
In July 2004, it was reported that Egypt based Orascom Telecom is set to purchase the Malaysian stakes in Sheba Telecom through a hush-hush deal, as Sheba had failed to tap the business potentials in Bangladesh mainly due to a chronic feud between its Malaysian and Bangladeshi partners. An agreement was reached with Orascom worth US$25 million was finalized in secret. The pact has been kept secret for legal reasons, considering financial fallout and because of the feud. The main reason for the undercover dealing was the joint venture agreement between the Bangladeshi and the Malaysian partners, which dictates that if any party sells its Sheba shares, the other party will enjoy the first right to buy that.
Integrated Services Ltd. (ISL), the Bangladeshi partner, was being 'officially' shown as purchasing the shares held by Technology Resources Industries (TRI) of Malaysia for $15 million. ISL then paid another $10 million to Standard Chartered Bank to settle Sheba's liabilities.
In September 2004, Orascom Telecom Holdings purchased 100% of the shares of Sheba Telecom (Pvt.) Limited. It was acquired for US$60 million. Sheba had a base of 59,000 users, of whom 49,000 were regular when it was sold. Afterward it was re-branded and launched its services under the "Banglalink" brand on 10 February 2005.
In March 2008, Sheba Telecom (Pvt.) Limited changed its name to Orascom Telecom Bangladesh Limited, matching its parent company name.
In July 2013, following the 2011 ownership restructuring in the parent company, the company name changed for the second time to Banglalink Digital Communications Ltd. Banglalink Digital Communications Limited is a fully owned company of Telecom Ventures Ltd. which is a 100% owned subsidiary of Global Telecom Holding. VEON owns 51.9% shares of Global Telecom Holding following a business combination in April 2011, between VEON Ltd. and Wind Telecom S.p.A. VEON is a NASDAQ and Euronext Amsterdam-listed global provider of connectivity, with the ambition to lead the personal internet revolution for the 235 million+ customers it currently serves, and many others in the years to come. It offers services to customers in 13 markets including Russia, Algeria, Armenia, Bangladesh, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Ukraine, Usa, Uzbekistan. VEON operates under the Banglalink, Beeline, Djezzy, Jazz, Kyivstar brands.
Banglalink uses the following numbering scheme:
+88019N1N2N3N4N5N6N7N8 & +880140N1N2N3N4N5N6N7
Where '+880' is the ISD code for Bangladesh and is needed only in case of dialing from outside Bangladesh.
'19' & '140' are the access codes for Banglalink as allocated by the Government of Bangladesh. Omitting +880 will require using 0 in place of it instead to represent local call, hence 019 & 0140 are the general access codes. N1N2N3N4N5N6N7N8 is the subscriber number.
This section needs to be updated.(January 2016)
Banglalink currently offers two prepaid plans. All the prepaid plans come in two phases—Standard (T&T incoming and outgoing with nationwide dialling and ISD) and M2M. All connections provide EDGE, GPRS, 3G, HSPA, HSPA+, 4G, LTE to subscribers.
- Desh, with the slogan Ek Desh Ek Rate! (means one country one rate!), is one of the cheapest prepaid plans in the country by the tariff. It also has three FnF numbers (Friends and Family) with cheaper rates for frequent call destinations. Desh was launched in 2006.
- Desh rang was launched as a brand extension of desh. Rang is a Bengali word that means color. It is introduced with the catchphrase Rangiye Din Apnar Jeebon (means colour your life.). This package is aimed at customers who mainly make calls to their own network and are heavy SMS users. It offers four on-net FnF numbers, but no off-net FnF number.
- Regular prepaid was the first package Banglalink had to offer. It is currently unavailable in the market.
- Ladies, first!, with the slogan Shomporker Network (which means network of relationships), was tailored for women. It offered four FnF numbers. It was launched in 2005 and is currently unavailable in the market. It introduced a 1-second pulse in the prepaid market.
- Be linked! was launched in 2005. It was later taken over by Desh package as all the Be linked! customers were automatically migrated to Desh.
Currently, there are three postpaid plans from Banglalink for its tail customers. These packages are known as Enterprise Personal, which is a subset of much larger Banglalink enterprise. All packages come with T&T local, nationwide dialing, ISD, and e-ISD connectivity.
- Personal package
- Personal supplementary
- Personal call and control
- Upper class, a postpaid platform, was launched on 31 July 2005. It was mainly targeting slightly upscale consumers. the upper class was known for offering separate counters at sales and customer care centers and a dedicated hotline. It had numerous packages under two different tariff plans—tailor made and made to measure. In addition to those, it introduced a hybrid product named call and control designed to offer the value of postpaid with the control of prepaid. Later Enterprise Personal took control of the upper class.
Banglalink Enterprise offers a wide range of products and services to suit the needs of the business community. It was first launched in December 2006. The current packages are:
- Enterprise corporate; targeted at the corporate segment
- Enterprise SME; targeted at the SME segment
- Enterprise personal
Before the launch of Banglalink enterprise, Banglalink served the business clientele through a similar platform named Banglalink professional.
Banglalink delivers customer care using its call centers and customer care networks. Currently, Banglalink provides customer care services to its clients through:
- Banglalink sales & care centres
- Banglalink pointsSIM replacement, reconnection, bill payment etc. They are located at key points around the country. Kallol Group, a local distribution company, had partnered with Banglalink to operate at least forty Banglalink points throughout the country. As of March 2008, the deal with Kallol Group has been called off and Banglalink is focusing on managing its own customer care centers.
- Banglalink service points
- Banglalink care lines are call centres.
- Banglaflix - Video streaming service
- Banglalink App Store - Subscription-based app store
- Banglalink Boighor - eBook service
- BL Vibe - Music streaming service
- Clickplay - Online gaming service
- Toffee - Live TV & video streaming Service
Criticisms and penalty
In October 2007, BTRC fined Banglalink BDT 1.25 billion for its involvement in illegal VoIP or call termination business. The then BTRC chairman, major general (retd.) Manzurul Alam, confirmed Banglalink's involvement in the illegal trade. In a statement issued by Banglalink, the company agreed to make a one-time fixed payment of Tk. 1.25 billion to the government as compensation for its loss in revenues.
- "Home – Credit Rating Information and Services Ltd – Crislbd" (PDF). Retrieved 17 July 2015.[permanent dead link]
- Chief Executive Officer
- "Company Overview of banglalink digital communications limited". Bloomberg. Retrieved 4 November 2016.
- About Banglalink
- "Bangladesh's Banglalink tops 10 mln mobile users". Reuters. Retrieved 17 July 2015.
- Alam, Mahbubul (2012). "Telecommunication". In Islam, Sirajul; Jamal, Ahmed A. (eds.). Banglapedia: National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh (Second ed.). Asiatic Society of Bangladesh.
- "Egyptian Orascom Gets Sheba Telecom Malaysian stake". Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 17 July 2015.
- "Vimpelcom confirms closing of 'large and complex' Wind Telecom deal". TeleGeography. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
- "Banglalink to build 3,000 more towers by 2022". The Business Standard. 30 October 2021. Retrieved 31 October 2021.
- "Banglalink unveils new post-paid service". Archived from the original on 18 January 2008. Retrieved 27 July 2009.
- "Banglalink rolls out GPRS and gets personal with businesses". Retrieved 17 July 2015.
- banglalink points
- "Kallol Group of Companies". Retrieved 17 July 2015.
- "Banglalink fined Tk 125cr for illegal VoIP business". The Daily Star. Retrieved 17 July 2015.