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Citycell (Pacific Bangladesh Telecom Limited)
Industry Telecommunication
Founded 1989
Headquarters 8th Floor Pacific Center, 14, Mohakhali C/A, Dhaka, Bangladesh
Area served
61 districts and 470 thanas
Key people
Mehboob Chowdhury (CEO)
David Lee (COO)
Products Telephony, CDMA
Parent Pacific Motors Limited (31.43%)
Far East Telecom Limited (23.57%)
SingTel Asia Pacific Investments Pte Ltd. (45%)[1]
Slogan Because we care

Citycell[2] (Bengali: সিটিসেল) (Pacific Bangladesh Telecom Limited) is the first mobile communications company of Bangladesh. It is the only CDMA network operator in the country. As of August 2013, Citycell's total mobile subscriber base is 1.338 million.[3] Citycell is currently owned by Singtel with 45% stake and the rest 55% owned by Pacific Group and Far East Telecom.


Previous Citycell logo.

In 1989 Bangladesh Telecom Limited (BTL) was awarded a license to operate cellular, paging, and other wireless communication networks. Then in 1990 Hutchison Bangladesh Telecom Limited (HBTL) was incorporated in Bangladesh as a joint venture between BTL and Hutchison Telecommunications (Bangladesh) Limited. HBTL began commercial operation in Dhaka using the AMPS mobile technology in 1993 and became the 2nd cellular operator in South Asia (after Sri Lanka's Celltell, established on 1989). Later that year Pacific Motors bought 50% of BTL. By 1996 HBTL was renamed as Pacific Bangladesh Telecom Limited (PBTL) and launched the brand name "Citycell Digital" to market its cellular products.

By the end of 2007 Citycell had refurbished its old brand identity and introduced a new logo and corporate identity; the new logo is very reminiscent of the old logo. However the slogan "because we care" has remained unchanged.

2010 reshuffle[edit]

In early 2010 Citycell's senior management was reshuffled. A new CEO, Mehboob Chowdhury was brought in as well as a COO, David Lee. In February Chowdhury took office. He is an experienced executive, as he has had involvement with Aktel (now Robi), Warid (Now Airtel), Banglalink (Chief Commercial Officer 2005-2006) and Grameenphone (Director of Sales and Marketing 1998-2005)[4]

Numbering scheme[edit]

Citycell uses the following numbering scheme for its subscribers:

+88 011 N1N2N3N4N5N6N7N8
where, 880 is the International Subscriber Dialing Code for Bangladesh and is needed only in case of dialing from outside Bangladesh.

11 is the prefix for Citycell as allocated by the government of Bangladesh. Omitting +880 will require to use 0 in place of it instead to represent local call, hence 011 is the general prefix.

The number N1 to N8 is the subscriber number.

Products offered[edit]

Citycell offers prepaid, postpaid and fixed phone plans. Since Citycell operates in CDMA, RIMs are usually sold with a phone mostly cheap Chinese sets produced by ZTE, Huawei, Samsung, Motorola and Alcatel. Citycell currently has the cheapest Handset + Connection package at 1399 BDT.[citation needed]


The current only prepaid plan is branded as Citycell One. Citycell started offering prepaid plans from 2003. It was the first to offer a prepaid plan with BTTB connectivity in the same year. In 2005, it launched the Aalap Call Me plan- the first phone plan with negative tariff in the country.[citation needed] In this plan customers get credit added to their balance when they receive calls from other Citycell subscribers. In the same year, Citycell launched Aalap Super plan. Subscribers of this plan could make free calls to other Citycell subcribers during late night hours. This espoused numerous copycat products from its competitors. Later that year the national telecoms regulator ordered all phone companies to cease offering free call facility. In 2006, Citycell launched Hello 0123 plan. The name 0123 signified tariff of Tk 0 for calls to one Citycell number of the subscriber's choice, Tk 1 for calls to two other Citycell numbers, Tk 2 for calls to all other Citycell numbers and Tk. 3 for calls to all other networks. This plan was followed up with a string of other spinoff plans that continued into 2007.

Instant Load[edit]

As advertised in June 2008, Citycell became the first mobile operator to sign up for Instant Load. Instant Load is a joint effort from Dutch Bangla Bank and Citycell that lets pre-paid account holders top up their phone through SMS anytime, without the need to visit any store or purchase any minutes. This service is being offered free-of-charge and it is the first service of its type in Bangladesh.[citation needed]

After receiving the SMS, Citycell automatically withdraws the desired amount from the bank account instantly. It is not known if the service is applicable for post-paid users.


The postpaid plan is branded as Citycell One. The Postpaid subscribers enjoy 4 FnF numbers to other operators, 30 sec pulse applicable for all outgoing, Zoom Data service etc. in additional.

Recently in Int. Tread fair 2009, Citycell Introduced a new postpaid service called VOICE-DATA plan with cheaper tariff voice call and sms on any operator and BTTB (NWD) and 0.25 Tk/minute voice call and sms on any Citycell Number.

Citycell Zoom[edit]

Citycell Zoom is a data plan where the customer receives an internet dongle to surf the web where ever the Citycell network is present. Customers have a choice of Citycell Zoom and Citycell Zoom Ultra. Zoom comes with a choice of prepaid or postpaid. Zoom comes with either one of two models, Huawei EC321 or ZTE MG880+. Zoom Ultra uses better technology particularly it uses EV-DO technology. ZTE Ultra Modem AC2726 is the dongle given with Zoom Ultra.

Citycell Zoom along with Grameenphone's version of this technology are regarded as the best in the portable internet service section in Bangladesh.

Customer care center[edit]

There are 6 Customer care centers of Citycell in the country. One for each division and there are another 500 Customer care Points scattered around the country.[citation needed]

Performance[citation needed][edit]

World operator rank by connections : 258th
Market Share : ≈4.5%
Market Penetration : ≈1.1%

*Data - Q2 2008

Criticism and penalty[edit]

Citycell, has been fined Tk. 1.5 billion by the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission for its involvement in illegal VoIP or international call termination.

Citycell's involvement in illegal VoIP, was discovered in May 2007 during a raid in the company's Mohakhali office by the BTRC.[5]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]