Saturday, November 25, 2017

Veon plans to invest $1bn to expand Banglalink networks over three years

  • Senior Correspondent,
    Published: 2017-07-13 19:10:48 BdST


Veon plans to invest $1 billion in Bangladesh over three years to expand Banglalink’s telecom networks.

The investments will be made if a favourable investment and regulatory framework were found, Veon’s Chief Executive Jean-Yves Charlier said at a media briefing in Dhaka on Thursday.

Banglalink is fully owned by Telecom Ventures, a subsidiary of Global Telecom Holding, 51.9 percent of which is owned by Netherlands-headquartered Veon, according to Banglalink’s website.

Banglalink has so far invested over $2.51 billion in Bangladesh. It has also contributed $2.4 billion to the national coffers, Charlier said.

“Veon is keen to position Banglalink as a leading provider of connectivity and internet opportunities.”

 “The combined financial burden of a disproportionate tax regime for the telecommunications sector and the significant cost of spectrum constitute an obstacle that must be addressed,” he told reporters at Sonargaon Hotel.

“The tax burden and spectrum fees per MHz are amongst the highest when compared to international benchmarks. This will impact the investment capacity in 3G and 4G networks thus the customer experience,” he added.

“Banglalink looks forward to working with the regulator on securing the additional spectrum at the earliest opportunity. Banglalink intends to sell off its tower portfolio in each of its markets as it no longer considers this asset as essential to the provision of new digital services to consumers.”

Erik Aas, CEO of Banglalink, Taimur Rahman, chief corporate and regulatory officer, and Asif Ahmed, head of corporate communications, were present.

Banglalink currently has more than 32 million subscribers, according to the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission.