Vol. 5 Num 983 Tue. March 06, 2007  

PeoplesTel announces network expansion plan

PeoplesTel, a PSTN (public switched telephone network) operator, yesterday announced its network expansion plan that it claims will bring cheap telephony to all regions of the country outside the capital.

"Now 142 upazilas of 28 districts of the country are under the network coverage of PeoplesTel and the whole of the country will come under our coverage by next three months as we are working in full swing in this regard," TIM Nurun Nabi, managing director of People's Telecommunication and Information Services Ltd (PTISL), the company that owns PeoplesTel.

Speaking at a press conference in Dhaka he said presently the government does not allow PSTN operation in the capital. The Chittagong Hill Tracts areas will be brought under wire-line phone service.

"Our goal is to reach 1 million subscribers mark in the next five years as we are offering very low tariff rates as well as quality service to our subscribers," Nabi told the journalists, adding that now PeoplesTel's subscription base is 12,000.

He also said the company has established 6,000 kilometres of microwave link to bring all the major highways of the country under the company's coverage.

The rate for call from the commercial package of PeoplesTel to any mobile is Tk 1.40 per minute within the country.

He said both wire-line and wireless phone needed a line rent of Tk 150 per month. The wire-line subscribers will have to pay Tk 2,500 as collateral deposit. Wireless subscribers are to pay Tk 3,500 as connection fee.

Describing the future plan, Nabi said the PSTN operator has already invested Tk 130 crore and it has signed an agreement with a Malaysian company to invest more US $ 66 million.

When asked about its investment source, Nabi said various local and international companies, including the London-based Global Coal Management Company, the new name of Asia Energy, are providing financial support to the operator.

Shamima Nabi, director of PTISL, Ahsan Ullah Chowdhury, chief operating Officer of the company, among others, were present at the press conference.